Childhood and youth have often been the targets of moral panic rhetoric. This Byte explores a series of pressing concerns about young people: child abuse, child pornography, child sexual exploitation, child trafficking and the concept of childhood. With an appraisal of the work of the influential thinker, Geoffrey Pearson, who wrote on deviance and young people, it draws attention to the moralising within these discourses and asks how we might do things differently.
Gary Clapton is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and was formerly a children and families practitioner in Edinburgh and London. He has written widely on the subject of moral panics.
Introduction - Gary Clapton;
1. Child protection and moral panic - Ian Butler;
2. Unearthing Melodrama: Moral Panic; Theory and the Enduring Characterisation of Child Trafficking - Joanne Westwood;
3. Lost childhood? - Kay Tisdall;
4. Internet risk research and child sexual abuse: a misdirected moral panic? - Ethel Quayle;
5. The Rotherham Abuse Scandal - Anneke Meyer;
Afterword - Mark Hardy