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The Politics and Experience of Ritual Abuse: Beyond Disbelief

Overview

"Sara Scott's book is a very powerful work, not only in terms of the subject matter and the politics of intense violence and violation that it explores, but also as a commentary on methodology and the nature of power. She thus contributes to the empowerment of survivors and the breaking of closures on debate and intervention." - Professor Jeff Hearn, University of Manchester, author of 'The Violences of Men'

"Through exemplary use of theory and research Scott's analysis of ...
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Overview

"Sara Scott's book is a very powerful work, not only in terms of the subject matter and the politics of intense violence and violation that it explores, but also as a commentary on methodology and the nature of power. She thus contributes to the empowerment of survivors and the breaking of closures on debate and intervention." - Professor Jeff Hearn, University of Manchester, author of 'The Violences of Men'

"Through exemplary use of theory and research Scott's analysis of ritual abuse moves forward key debates within feminism, therapy and social science more generally. This eloquent book confirms established sociological wisdom that great insights are produced from skilful research into boundary cases." - Lois Bryson, Emeritus Professor, Research Institute for Gender and Health, University of Newcastle, Australia

"...very carefully researched, argued and presented. It contains some very important, if highly shocking and disturbing material, which is handled in a highly sensitive way." - Professor Mary Maynard, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York

"This book makes an important contribution to the existing literature and debate on ritual abuse, as well as to the understanding of gendered violence and abuse more generally." - Marianne Hester, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sunderland

We live in an era characterised by contradictions, not least in relation to the issue of ritual abuse, which emerged as a social problem only to have its existence immediately challenged by a discourse of disbelief. While many academics have ranked amongst the sceptics in this debate Sara Scott is a sociologist who takes herrespondents seriously - as well as acknowledging the interests and experiences which have shaped her own position. The Politics and Experience of Ritual Abuse offers insight into why ritual abuse has become such a contested issue, while enabling the reader to explore the meaning of 'ritual abuse' through the accounts of those who claim direct experience. Drawing on her research with adults, who identified themselves as survivors, the author argues that the wholesale dismissal of such accounts as 'false memories' produced by a 'moral panic' may be somewhat premature.

The Politics and Experience of Ritual Abuse has been written for anyone interested in the specific controversy over ritual abuse, including students and researchers in criminology, social work, sociology and women's studies.

Sara Scott is based in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Liverpool, she is currently working on a Department of Health funded project developing training on gender issues for staff in the secure psychiatric sector. In 1997/98 she held the first Sociological Review Fellowship at Keele University.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Scott (sociology, social policy, and social work, U. of Liverpool) takes seriously the accounts of survivors about ritual abuse and satanic ritual abuse, but at the same time explores the politics of the field in which their accounts have emerged. She has no desire to convince readers that ritual abuse really happens, but wants to explore how validity is accorded to some kinds of life stories and not others, and how some people are constituted as reliable witnesses of their own lives while others are discredited. Ritual abuse happens in many religions throughout the world, she admits, but her focus is on those that have stirred controversy in the industrialized world since the 1980s. Distributed by Taylor & Francis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780335204199
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sara Scott is based in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Liverpool, she is currently working on a Department of Health funded project developing training on gender issues for staff in the secure psychiatric sector. In 1997/98 she held the first Sociological Review Fellowship at Keele University.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Child sexual abuse: the shaping of a social problem 13
2 Unreliable witnesses: memories and moral panic 34
3 The nature of the beast: pornography, prostitution and everyday life 62
4 The flesh and the word: beliefs and believing in ritual abuse 81
5 The gender of horror 103
6 Making death meaningful 132
7 Composing the self 160
Conclusion 189
Appendix 195
Bibliography 201
Index 217
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