Moral Crusades in an Age of Mistrust examines the sociological meaning of the sudden transformation of Jimmy Savile, the cultural icon, into the personification of evil. The epidemic of scandals unleashed by the Savile Scandal highlights the precarious status of relations of trust. The rapid escalation of this crisis offers insights into the relationship between anxieties about childhood and the wider moral order. This exploration of the emergence of a moral crusade explains why western society has become so uncomfortable with the exercise of authority.
This is a work of public sociology that seeks to explore the social dimensions of a cultural drama as it unfolds. Through situating this scandal in a wider historical perspective this study outlines the distinctive features of a twenty-first-century moral crusade.
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The inquisition into historical allegations of abuse is out of control.
The crusade against historical sex abuse is destroying due process.
Making reporting of child abuse mandatory will not help children.