Knowledge of Evil

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Routledge, Jan 11, 2013 - Social Science - 224 pages

This book aims to document and analyse the enduring involvement of children in the commercial sex trade in twentieth-century England. It uncovers new evidence to indicate the extent of under-age prostitution over this period, a much-neglected subject despite the increased visibility of children more generally.

The authors argue that child prostitution needs to be understood within a broader context of child abuse, and that this provides one of the clearest manifestations of the way in which 'deviant groups' can be conceived of as both victims and threats. The picture of child prostitution which emerges is one of exclusion from mainstream society and the law, and remoteness from the agencies set up to help young people in trouble, which were often reluctant to accept the realities of child prostitution. The evidence provided in this book indicates that the circumstances which have led young people into prostitution over the last hundred years amount, at worst, to physical or psychological abuse or neglect, and at best as the result of limited choice.


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Chapter 1 Introduction concepts and contexts
Chapter 2 Debating late nineteenthcentury child prostitution
Chapter 3 Edwardian England and the ideal family
Chapter 4 War and the 1920s
Chapter 5 Prostitution child abuse and feminism during the 1920s and 1930s
Chapter 6 Reconstruction and a new society
Chapter 7 The rediscovery of child prostitution during the 1960s and 1970s
Chapter 8 Child prostitution in the 1980s and 1990s

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About the author (2013)

Alyson Brown is a Reader in History at Edge Hill University. She has published numerous chapters and articles, including 'The Amazing Mutiny at the Dartmoor Convice Prison' in the British Journal of Criminology (2007).

David Barrett is Professor of Applied Social Studies in the School of Applied Social Science, Bedfordshire University. He is an international authority on young people who are sexually exploited through the sex industry.

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