Added: December 9, 2006 – Last updated: October 3, 2015

TITLE INFORMATION


Author: Katherine Beckett

Title: Culture and the Politics of Signification

Subtitle: The Case of Child Sexual Abuse

Journal: Social Problems: Official Journal of the Society for the Study of Social Problems

Volume: 43

Issue: 1

Year: February 1996

Pages: 57-76

ISSN: 0037-7791 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1533-8533 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Representations: Press; Types: Child Sexual Abuse;



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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


Author: Katherine Beckett, Department of Sociology, University of WashingtonResearchGate

Abstracts:

»Social problems and issues may be signified in a number of ways, and social actors often struggle to imbue discussions of social and political issues with different meanings and associations. However, some emotionally charged topics are characterized as "valence" issues and seen as immune from such contestation. This analysis demonstrates that the framing of one valence issue - child sexual abuse - in media discourse has undergone significant transformation. The ability of social actors to contest the construction of this issue highlights the complex and contradictory nature of culture, as well as the importance of agency and contextuality for social problem careers.« (Source: Social Problems)

»Analyzes issues of Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, and People Magazine from 1980 to 1994 to chronicle the media's part in how the discourse on the formerly uncontested issue of child sexual abuse has changed. The ability of social actors to contest the construction of this issue highlights the complex and contradictory nature of culture, as well as the importance of agency and contextuality for social problem careers.« [Source: America: History and Life)

Contents:

  Valence and Position Issues (p. 58)
    Child Abuse and Valence Politics (p. 58)
  The Emergence of Child Sexual Abuse as a Social Problem (p. 59)
  Methods and Issue Packages (p. 60)
    Identification of Child Sexual Abuse Issue Packages (p. 61)
    Child Sexual Abuse Issue Packages (p. 61)
    Content Analysis (p. 65)
    Identifying Relevant Media Items (p. 65)
    Measuring Package Prominence and Sponsorship (p. 65)
  The Transformation of Media Discourse and Child Sexual Abuse (p. 68)
    1980-84 (p. 68)
    1985-1990 (p. 69)
    1991-94 (p. 70)
    Summary (p. 71)
  Accounting for the Changing Image of Child Sexual Abuse (p. 71)
    Sponsor Activities (p. 71)
    Media Practices (p. 72)
    Cultural Themes and Resources (p. 73)
  Conclusion (p. 74)
  References (p. 75)

Reprint: Beckett, Katherine. »Culture and the Case of Child Sexual Abuse.« The Study of Social Problems: Seven Perspectives. Edited by Earl Rubington et al. New York 2003: 317-335.

Wikipedia: Child sexual abuse; Newsweek, People (magazine), Time (magazine), U.S. News & World Report