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    Policing perversion: the contemporary governance of paedophilia

    Ashenden, Samantha (2002) Policing perversion: the contemporary governance of paedophilia. Journal for Cultural Research 6 (1-2), pp. 197-222. ISSN 1479-7585.

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    Book synopsis: This paper explores recent vigilance attending pedophilia in the UK context. It examines governmental and popular responses to the perceived threat posed by child sex offenders, exhibited respectively in provisions for sex offender orders within the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and in press and public campaigns for the “naming and shaming” of paedophiles. These two responses cohabit in current contexts of concern about childhood as innocence and vulnerability, and are worked out against the figure of the paedophile as a “dangerous individual”; nevertheless, they invoke different visions of political community. Developing Foucault's observation that contemporary political rationalities combine two distinct models of political community, that of the juridically constituted polity and that of the society rendered calculable and organized through normalizing models of risk, the paper argues that both of these models are evident in governmental and popular responses to paedophilia. However, where the former, a technical and administrative response to a problem of social order, aims to achieve public safety through the professional prediction and management of risk, the latter is premised on the elimination of danger,demanding the public outing of paedophiles and their exorcism from the community. While these responses contest whether danger can be turned into risk through professional management, they are mutually enhancing in fostering governmental and popular concern with public and community safety.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2017 13:19
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:35


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