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Making an Issue of Child Abuse: Political Agenda Setting for Social Problems

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In this absorbing story of how child abuse grew from a small, private-sector charity concern into a multimillion-dollar social welfare issue, Barbara Nelson provides important new perspectives on the process of public agenda setting. Using extensive personal interviews and detailed archival research, she reconstructs an invaluable history of child abuse policy in America. In this absorbing story of how child abuse grew from a small, private-sector charity concern into a multimillion-dollar social welfare issue, Barbara Nelson provides important new perspectives on the process of public agenda setting. Using extensive personal interviews and detailed archival research, she reconstructs an invaluable history of child abuse policy in America. She shows how the mass media presented child abuse to the public, how government agencies acted and interacted, and how state and national legislatures were spurred to strong action on this issue. Nelson examines prevailing theories about agenda setting and introduces a new conceptual framework for understanding how a social issue becomes part of the public agenda. This issue of child abuse, she argues, clearly reveals the scope and limitations of social change initiated through interest-group politics. Unfortunately, the process that transforms an issue into a popular cause, Nelson concludes, brings about programs that ultimately address only the symptoms and not the roots of such social problems.


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In this absorbing story of how child abuse grew from a small, private-sector charity concern into a multimillion-dollar social welfare issue, Barbara Nelson provides important new perspectives on the process of public agenda setting. Using extensive personal interviews and detailed archival research, she reconstructs an invaluable history of child abuse policy in America. In this absorbing story of how child abuse grew from a small, private-sector charity concern into a multimillion-dollar social welfare issue, Barbara Nelson provides important new perspectives on the process of public agenda setting. Using extensive personal interviews and detailed archival research, she reconstructs an invaluable history of child abuse policy in America. She shows how the mass media presented child abuse to the public, how government agencies acted and interacted, and how state and national legislatures were spurred to strong action on this issue. Nelson examines prevailing theories about agenda setting and introduces a new conceptual framework for understanding how a social issue becomes part of the public agenda. This issue of child abuse, she argues, clearly reveals the scope and limitations of social change initiated through interest-group politics. Unfortunately, the process that transforms an issue into a popular cause, Nelson concludes, brings about programs that ultimately address only the symptoms and not the roots of such social problems.

26 review for Making an Issue of Child Abuse: Political Agenda Setting for Social Problems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    This is a great case study of political agenda setting and an excellent history of the origins of modern child law in the U.S. I have taught child abuse law and felt I knew it well, but still learned some new things about how these laws came into being.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cátia Guerra

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brynn

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elisa Rice

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel M.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ricky

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  9. 4 out of 5

    D Maurice Waddell

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caryn

  11. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  12. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Madrigal

  13. 5 out of 5

    Skye Coughlin Falcones

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dulce Zendejas

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marigold Bookhound

  16. 4 out of 5

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  17. 4 out of 5

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  18. 4 out of 5

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  19. 5 out of 5

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  20. 5 out of 5

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  21. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Snyder

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Lamb

  23. 5 out of 5

    Yasmina

  24. 4 out of 5

    Apoorva

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashe Dryden

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rt

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