Making an Issue of Child Abuse

Barbara J. Nelson

On this absorbing story of how youngster abuse grew from a small, private-sector charity concern right into a multimillion-dollar social welfare situation, Barbara Nelson offers vital new views on the method of public agenda setting. Utilizing intensive private interviews and detailed archival analysis, she reconstructs a useful historical past of kid abuse coverage in America. She reveals how the mass media offered youngster abuse to the general public, how authorities companies acted and interacted, and the way state and nationwide legislatures had been spurred to robust motion on this situation. Nelson examines prevailing theories about agenda setting and introduces a brand new conceptual framework for understanding how a social situation turns into a part of the general public agenda. This situation of kid abuse, she argues, clearly reveals the scope and limitations of social change initiated by interest-group politics. Sadly, the method that transforms a difficulty into a well-liked trigger, Nelson concludes, brings about packages that finally handle solely the signs and never the roots of such social issues.