The Witch-Hunt Narrative

Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Author: Ross E. Cheit

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190226331

Category: Political Science

Page: 544

View: 6742

DOWNLOAD NOW »
In the 1980s, a series of child sex abuse cases rocked the United States. The most famous case was the 1984 McMartin preschool case, but there were a number of others as well. By the latter part of the decade, the assumption was widespread that child sex abuse had become a serious problem in America. Yet within a few years, the concern about it died down considerably. The failure to convict anyone in the McMartin case and a widely publicized appellate decision in New Jersey that freed an accused molester had turned the dominant narrative on its head. In the early 1990s, a new narrative with remarkable staying power emerged: the child sex abuse cases were symptomatic of a 'moral panic' that had produced a witch hunt. A central claim in this new witch hunt narrative was that the children who testified were not reliable and easily swayed by prosecutorial suggestion. In time, the notion that child sex abuse was a product of sensationalized over-reporting and far less endemic than originally thought became the new common sense. But did the new witch hunt narrative accurately represent reality? As Ross Cheit demonstrates in his exhaustive account of child sex abuse cases in the past two and a half decades, purveyors of the witch hunt narrative never did the hard work of examining court records in the many cases that reached the courts throughout the nation. Instead, they treated a couple of cases as representative and concluded that the issue was blown far out of proportion. Drawing on years of research into cases in a number of states, Cheit shows that the issue had not been blown out of proportion at all. In fact, child sex abuse convictions were regular occurrences, and the crime occurred far more frequently than conventional wisdom would have us believe. Cheit's aim is not to simply prove the narrative wrong, however. He also shows how a narrative based on empirically thin evidence became a theory with real social force, and how that theory stood at odds with a far more grim reality. The belief that the charge of child sex abuse was typically a hoax also left us unprepared to deal with the far greater scandal of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, which, incidentally, has served to substantiate Cheit's thesis about the pervasiveness of the problem. In sum, The Witch-Hunt Narrative is a magisterial and empirically powerful account of the social dynamics that led to the denial of widespread human tragedy.

The Witch-Hunt Narrative

Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Author: Ross E. Cheit

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199931232

Category: Political Science

Page: 496

View: 1836

DOWNLOAD NOW »
In the 1980s, a series of child sex abuse cases rocked the United States. The most famous case was the 1984 McMartin preschool case, but there were a number of others as well. By the latter part of the decade, the assumption was widespread that child sex abuse had become a serious problem in America. Yet within a few years, the concern about it died down considerably. The failure to convict anyone in the McMartin case and a widely publicized appellate decision in New Jersey that freed an accused molester had turned the dominant narrative on its head. In the early 1990s, a new narrative with remarkable staying power emerged: the child sex abuse cases were symptomatic of a 'moral panic' that had produced a witch hunt. A central claim in this new witch hunt narrative was that the children who testified were not reliable and easily swayed by prosecutorial suggestion. In time, the notion that child sex abuse was a product of sensationalized over-reporting and far less endemic than originally thought became the new common sense. But did the new witch hunt narrative accurately represent reality? As Ross Cheit demonstrates in his exhaustive account of child sex abuse cases in the past two and a half decades, purveyors of the witch hunt narrative never did the hard work of examining court records in the many cases that reached the courts throughout the nation. Instead, they treated a couple of cases as representative and concluded that the issue was blown far out of proportion. Drawing on years of research into cases in a number of states, Cheit shows that the issue had not been blown out of proportion at all. In fact, child sex abuse convictions were regular occurrences, and the crime occurred far more frequently than conventional wisdom would have us believe. Cheit's aim is not to simply prove the narrative wrong, however. He also shows how a narrative based on empirically thin evidence became a theory with real social force, and how that theory stood at odds with a far more grim reality. The belief that the charge of child sex abuse was typically a hoax also left us unprepared to deal with the far greater scandal of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, which, incidentally, has served to substantiate Cheit's thesis about the pervasiveness of the problem. In sum, The Witch-Hunt Narrative is a magisterial and empirically powerful account of the social dynamics that led to the denial of widespread human tragedy.

The Witch-Hunt Narrative

Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Author: Ross E. Cheit

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199931224

Category: Political Science

Page: 508

View: 9666

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Child sexual abuse became part of the public discourse in 1984 with a series of high-profile criminal cases involving day-care centres, many of which were eventually seen as 'witch-hunts'. Under this view, the charges were the result of suggestive interviewing, over-zealous prosecutors, and a gullible press. This is the first scholarly book to challenge that view. Based on fifteen years of original trial court research, it argues that the evidence for the witch-hunt narrative is weak at best, in many cases ignoring significant evidence of abuse and in others ignoring complexity.

We Believe the Children

A Moral Panic in the 1980s

Author: Richard Beck

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610392884

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 6980

DOWNLOAD NOW »
In the 1980s in California, New Jersey, and New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, and elsewhere, daycare workers were arrested, charged, tried, and convicted of committing horrible sexual crimes against the children they cared for. These crimes, prosecutors said, had gone undetected for years, and their brutality and sadism defied all imagining. What's more, the abusers had photographed and videotaped their victims, distributing the images through a sophisticated international network of child pornographers. More often than not, violent satanic cult worship had also played a central role, with children made to watch forced abortions in cemeteries and then eat hacked-off bits of the little corpses. In just over a decade, thousands of people in every part of the country were investigated as child sex abusers, and some one-hundred and fifty of them were sent to prison. But, none of it happened. It was an epic decade-long outbreak of collective hysteria – on a par with the Salem witch trials or the red scares of the 1950s. Using extensive archival research conducted in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and elsewhere, and drawing on dozens of interviews conducted with the hysteria's major figures, Richard Beck shows how a group of legislators, doctors, lawyers, and parents, all working with the best of intentions, set the stage for a judicial disaster. A number of opportunistic journalists helped to carry the story from state to state, and the silence of their colleagues, who should have known better, allowed it to keep spreading long after it became clear that the story was simply unsupported by evidence. Beck reveals how a small group of skeptics finally began working to slow the runaway train in the last half of the decade, and he explores the fates of those accused and convicted of these unbelievable crimes, the casualties of a culture war. It is this culture war that is the books pervasive subtext – the conditions that made possible the demented frenzy of accusations were very specific, and at the root of them were competing visions of society and the things that threatened it most.

Unspeakable Acts

Author: Jan Hollingsworth

Publisher: Congdon & Weed

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 592

View: 8104

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Chronicles the investigation that exposed the child-abuse crimes of two Miami day-care center operators--one a convicted child molester--and profiles the parents and the children who were the victims of the abuse

Nap Time

The True Story of Sexual Abuse at a Suburban Day Care Center

Author: Lisa Manshel

Publisher: Zebra Books

ISBN: 9780821732625

Category: Social Science

Page: 474

View: 9494

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Offers an account of the sexual abuse of fifty-one preschoolers at the Wee Care Day Nursery in Maplewood, New Jersey, and the trial and conviction of Margaret Kelly Michaels

Witch Craze

Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany

Author: Lyndal Roper

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300119831

Category: History

Page: 362

View: 6548

DOWNLOAD NOW »
"In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries thousands of women confessed to being witches and were put to death ... Drawing on hundreds of original trial transcripts and other rare sources in four areas of Southern Germany, where most of the witches were executed, Lyndal Roper paints a vivid picture of their lives, families and tribulations. She also explores the psychology of witch-hunting, explaining why it was mostly older women who were the victims of witch crazes, why they confessed to crimes, and how the depiction of witches in art and literature has influenced the characterisation of elderly women in western culture"--Dust jacket.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Author: Shirley Jackson

Publisher: Dramatists Play Service Inc

ISBN: 9780822212263

Category: Drama

Page: 214

View: 5317

DOWNLOAD NOW »
THE STORY: The home of the Blackwoods near a Vermont village is a lonely, ominous abode, and Constance, the young mistress of the place, can't go out of the house without being insulted and stoned by the villagers. They have also composed a nasty s

Supersurvivors

The Surprising Link between Suffering and Success

Author: David B Feldman,Lee Daniel Kravetz

Publisher: Random House India

ISBN: 8184006934

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 251

View: 626

DOWNLOAD NOW »
A supersurvivor is a person who has dramatically transformed his or her life after surviving a trauma, accomplishing amazing things or transforming the world for the better. When tragedy befalls, many people succumb to trauma and suffer many psychological setbacks such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Many are able to move past the trauma and return to normal life. Some, however, are able to bounce back stronger and tougher than before. This rare species is called the supersurvivor. The scope of suffering may vary, but most people face troubles small or big in their day-to-day lives. Supersurvivors offers astonishing stories of the indomitable human spirit which will put your own life and how you live it into perspective.

A Storm of Witchcraft

The Salem Trials and the American Experience

Author: Emerson W. Baker

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199385149

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 304

View: 8838

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers--mainly young women--suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history. Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that stated in Salem and spread across the region-religious crisis, ergot poisoning, an encephalitis outbreak, frontier war hysteria--but most agree that there was no single factor. Rather, as Emerson Baker illustrates in this seminal new work, Salem was "a perfect storm": a unique convergence of conditions and events that produced something extraordinary throughout New England in 1692 and the following years, and which has haunted us ever since. Baker shows how a range of factors in the Bay colony in the 1690s, including a new charter and government, a lethal frontier war, and religious and political conflicts, set the stage for the dramatic events in Salem. Engaging a range of perspectives, he looks at the key players in the outbreak--the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them--and wrestles with questions about why the Salem tragedy unfolded as it did, and why it has become an enduring legacy. Salem in 1692 was a critical moment for the fading Puritan government of Massachusetts Bay, whose attempts to suppress the story of the trials and erase them from memory only fueled the popular imagination. Baker argues that the trials marked a turning point in colonial history from Puritan communalism to Yankee independence, from faith in collective conscience to skepticism toward moral governance. A brilliantly told tale, A Storm of Witchcraft also puts Salem's storm into its broader context as a part of the ongoing narrative of American history and the history of the Atlantic World.

Setting Safety Standards

Regulation in the Public and Private Sectors

Author: Ross E. Cheit

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780520302310

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 6676

DOWNLOAD NOW »
In this highly original and meticulously researched comparison of public and private standards-setting, Ross E. Cheit questions the old maxim that government-set safety standards are too severe while those set by the private sector are too lenient. Identifying the comparative institutional advantages of each arrangement through four paired case studies of grain elevators, woodstoves, aviation fire safety, and gas space heaters, he finds instead that some private standards are surprisingly strict, while government is better positioned to survey real-world experience and sponsor research likely to improve standards-setting. Setting Safety Standards challenges those political scientists who argue that only public institutions can advance the public interest in the controversial field of health and safety. Cheit draws attention to such little-known organizations as Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association, private-sector alternatives to the government regulation so frequently criticized as time-consuming, inflexible, and unreasonable. These organizations, he shows, play a far more significant role in regulation than most federal agencies, even though the standards they develop are widely--and often mistakenly--assumed to be less concerned with due process than government standards and often unduly lax. This study should be widely read by public policy and regulation experts in both the public and the private sectors as well as by academics in the field. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press's mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1990.

Satan's Silence

Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt

Author: Debbie Nathan,Michael Snedeker

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 0595189555

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 336

View: 6170

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Communities throughout the United States were convulsed in the 1980s and early 1990s by accusations, often without a shred of serious evidence, that respectable men and women in their midst—many of them trusted preschool teachers—secretly gathered in far reaching conspiracies to rape and terrorize children. In this powerful book, Debbie Nathan and Mike Snedeker examine the forces fueling this blind panic.

The Resiliency Workbook

Bounce Back Stronger, Smarter and with Real Self-Esteem

Author: Nan Henderson

Publisher: Resiliency In Action

ISBN: 9780966939484

Category:

Page: 87

View: 7803

DOWNLOAD NOW »
This is a one-of-a-kind self-help book for teens and adults based on decades of social science research about how people bounce back from all types of trauma, crises, problems and adversity. It shows how building resiliency builds mental health. The information in this book will help anyone facing any life challenge. Use this book to learn how to: * Unlock your innate capacity to overcome adversity right now. * Identify and strengthen your unique resiliency builders. * Use your resiliency builders that are already operating for you. * Develop solid, transformative self-esteem. * Identify your Achilles Heel and how to overcome it. * Keep going when the going gets tough. Written by a leading expert, this book makes the important findings from resiliency research accessible to everyone. 10 Chapters (plus Index): 1. You Were Born Resilient 2. A Research-Based Plan for Overcoming Life's Challenges 3. Unlock the Power of Your Personal Protective Factors 4. The Resiliency Wheel: Boosting Your Resiliency Every Day 5. Who and What is in Your Mirror? (and Other Life-Support Strategies) 6. The Resiliency Route to Authentic Self-Esteem 7. Listen Within: How to Find and Follow Your Accurate Gut Guidance 8. Identify Your Achilles Heel (and Stop It from Tripping You Up) 9. How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough 10.The Resiliency Quiz & Other Resiliency-Building Resources

Folk Devils and Moral Panics

Author: Stanley Cohen

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1136807047

Category: Social Science

Page: 328

View: 3585

DOWNLOAD NOW »
'Richly documented and convincingly presented' -- New Society Mods and Rockers, skinheads, video nasties, designer drugs, bogus asylum seeks and hoodies. Every era has its own moral panics. It was Stanley Cohen’s classic account, first published in the early 1970s and regularly revised, that brought the term ‘moral panic’ into widespread discussion. It is an outstanding investigation of the way in which the media and often those in a position of political power define a condition, or group, as a threat to societal values and interests. Fanned by screaming media headlines, Cohen brilliantly demonstrates how this leads to such groups being marginalised and vilified in the popular imagination, inhibiting rational debate about solutions to the social problems such groups represent. Furthermore, he argues that moral panics go even further by identifying the very fault lines of power in society. Full of sharp insight and analysis, Folk Devils and Moral Panics is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand this powerful and enduring phenomenon. Professor Stanley Cohen is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. He received the Sellin-Glueck Award of the American Society of Criminology (1985) and is on the Board of the International Council on Human Rights. He is a member of the British Academy.

Only Words

Author: Catharine A. MacKinnon

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674504054

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 2356

DOWNLOAD NOW »
MacKinnon contends that pornography, racial and sexual harassment, and racial hate speech are acts of intimidation, subordination, terrorism, and discrimination, and should be legally treated as such.

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093566

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 9197

DOWNLOAD NOW »
In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

Butterfly Politics

Author: Catharine A. MacKinnon

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674416600

Category: Law

Page: 504

View: 9408

DOWNLOAD NOW »
The miniscule motion of a butterfly’s wings can trigger a tornado half a world away, according to chaos theory. Catharine A. MacKinnon’s collected work on gender inequality—including new pieces—argues that the right seemingly minor interventions in the legal realm can have a butterfly effect that generates major social and cultural transformations.

Not My Child

Author: Patricia Crowley

Publisher: Avon Books

ISBN: 9780380712762

Category: Child sexual abuse

Page: 320

View: 6127

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Cult and Ritual Abuse: Narratives, Evidence, and Healing Approaches, 3rd Edition

Author: James Randall Noblitt Ph.D.,Pamela Perskin Noblitt

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 1440831491

Category: Psychology

Page: 338

View: 6520

DOWNLOAD NOW »
This personal yet scholarly journey into the confusing and clandestine world of ritual abuse survivors sheds light on their catastrophic experiences and their efforts to heal afterward. • Features recalled histories of ritual abuse and vignettes of patients who have experienced dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) • Discusses techniques used to create and manipulate altered states of consciousness • Explores how media sensationalizes and inaccurately depicts ritual abuse • Critiques the argument that ritual abuse stories are the result of false memories and advances the idea that reports of ritual abuse are understated • Expresses the position that clinicians have an ethical duty to achieve competence in recognizing and treating the psychological effects of ritual abuse • Concludes that clinicians, lawmakers, law enforcement, social services personnel, journalists, and others need to treat allegations of ritual abuse seriously and evaluate each report on its own merits