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Historical institutional child abuse: Activist mobilisation and public inquiries

journal contribution
posted on 02.02.2021, 00:18 by Katie Wright, Alasdair Henry
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The abuse of children in institutional settings is an issue of ongoing social, public, and political concern internationally. While societal responses to historical abuse have been the subject of considerable scholarship in recent years, conceptualisation of the role of activism remains limited. This article aims to advance sociological and interdisciplinary perspectives on nonrecent institutional child abuse through a conceptualisation of activist mobilisation. The article begins by providing context for the emergence of institutional child abuse as a social issue. A brief overview of key themes and debates in the interdisciplinary literature is then offered, and a critical gap in current scholarship is identified in relation to activism. Drawing on illustrative examples of activist mobilisation, both in the form of survivor narratives and strategies aimed at influencing policy, the article sets out how a sociology of activism in the field of historical institutional child abuse might proceed. Through attention to the social dynamics of activism, and conceptualisation of collective action in this domain as a social movement, the article provides new insights for the field and an alternative to sociological theorisation of responses to historical institutional child abuse as simply constituting a public scandal or moral panic.

History

Publication Date

03/12/2019

Journal

Sociology Compass

Volume

13

Issue

12

Article Number

e12754

Pagination

13p.

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

ISSN

1751-9020

Rights Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wright, K, Henry, A. Historical institutional child abuse: Activist mobilisation and public inquiries. Sociology Compass. 2019; 13:e12754, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/soc4.12754. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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