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Stranger danger : family values, childhood, and the American carceral state

Author: Paul M Renfro
Publisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2020]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Starting in the late 1970s, a moral panic concerning child kidnapping and exploitation gripped the United States. For many Americans, a series of high-profile cases of missing and murdered children, publicized through an emergent twenty-four-hour news cycle, signaled a 'national epidemic' of child abductions perpetrated by strangers. Some observers insisted that fifty thousand or more children fell victim to  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Renfro, Paul M.
Stranger danger.
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2020]
(DLC) 2019034332
(OCoLC)1114271751
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Paul M Renfro
ISBN: 9780190913984 0190913983
OCLC Number: 1114274491
Description: x, 297 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: "He was beautiful" : Etan Patz, queer politics, and the image of endangered childhood --
"Save them or perish" : race, childhood, and the Atlanta abductions and murders --
Trouble in the heartland : region, race, and Iowa's missing paperboys --
"Great surface appeal" : the Department of Justice and the affective politics of child safety --
Kids in custody : protection and punishment in the Reagan era --
"The business of missing children" : child protection in public and private --
Circling the wagon : child safety and the punitive state in the Clinton years --
Conclusion: To catch a predator.
Responsibility: Paul M. Renfro.

Abstract:

"Starting in the late 1970s, a moral panic concerning child kidnapping and exploitation gripped the United States. For many Americans, a series of high-profile cases of missing and murdered children, publicized through an emergent twenty-four-hour news cycle, signaled a 'national epidemic' of child abductions perpetrated by strangers. Some observers insisted that fifty thousand or more children fell victim to stranger kidnappings in any given year. (The actual figure was and remains about one hundred.) Stranger Danger demonstrates how racialized and sexualized fears of stranger abduction -- stoked by the news media, politicians from across the partisan divide, bereaved parents, and the business sector -- helped to underwrite broader transformations in US political culture and political economy. Specifically, the child kidnapping scare further legitimated a bipartisan investment in 'family values' and 'law and order,' thereby enabling the development and expansion of sex offender registries, AMBER Alerts, and other mechanisms designed to safeguard young Americans and their families from 'stranger danger' -- and to punish the strangers who supposedly threatened them"--

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Using superb research and gripping narratives,Renfro's book shows that panics about strangers kidnapping, molesting, and murdering kids may have made children less safe, by obscuring the fact that it Read more...

 
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