ARTICLE: SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE ORIGINS OF CHILD ABUSE LEGISLATION IN ISRAEL Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2003 Israel Law Review 
Israel Law Review

ARTICLE: SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE ORIGINS OF CHILD ABUSE LEGISLATION IN ISRAEL

Spring, 2003-2004

37 Isr. L. Rev. 169

Author

Mimi Ajzenstadt * and Gabriel Cavaglion **

Excerpt

I. Introduction

This paper examines the historical background and the social processes in Israel that have changed the perception of child abuse from almost complete lack of awareness, bordering at times on denial and repression, to concern and formal societal reaction that became more activist during the 1990s. It focuses on the events and social forces since the late 1980s that have raised public concern about child abuse, resulting in new legislation, revised law enforcement, and greater professional intervention.

The analysis is based on social constructionist theory which rejects the validity of absolutist and objectivist perspectives. 1 This approach views social problems as cultural constructs or as collective definitions, which emerge primarily through subjective and relativistic processes. 2 Social constructionist theory considers that communities shape public problems through the prism of their subjective perceptions, and that these problems are modulated by assertions of grievance and the political actions of social agents. 3 The definition of socially constructed problems such as child abuse, and the degree of social consensus as to grievances and solutions create an extremely complicated issue for social constructionism because of the complex array of social, cultural and political factors involved. These factors include the public visibility of the particular condition or event, 4 its cultural definition, 5 interplay between various interest groups, their claim-making and social actions that emerge to define and resolve the problem, 6 their degree of social and political power, 7 their public image, 8 their access to the media, ...
 
 
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