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DeRivera, Joseph; Sarbin, Theodore R.     Believed-In Imaginings, 1998

De Young, Mary,                                             The Ritual Abuse Controversy

De Young, Mary,                                             The Day Care Ritual Abuse Moral Panic, 2004





DeRivera, Joseph;   Sarbin, Theodore R. (Editors)
Believed-In Imaginings, 1998
The narrative construction of reality


de Young, Mary
The Ritual Abuse Controversy: An Annotated Bibliography, 2002

The ritual abuse of children is the most controversial issue in the child maltreatment field, but much of what has been written about ritual abuse over the past twenty years is in the form of unpublished and endlessly reproduced “stuff”—a curious mixture of conjecture, folkloric and pop-culture representations of satanism, devil worship, occultism and witch-craft, and Christian Fundamentalist images of premillennarian evil. What remains after this “stuff” is excluded is an intriguing body of international literature that seriously ex-amines the controversy.

This annotated bibliography dissects the literature, objectively and thoroughly annotates published articles, books and reports, legal opinions, and occasionally, thought-provoking newspaper and magazine articles. Chapters deal with the definition of ritual abuse, ritual abuse cases in the United States, cases in American families and neighborhoods, cases in Canada, Europe and Australasia, clinical features of ritual abuse in children and adults, the controversy’s impact on professionals and systems, the controversy and American law, ritual abuse reports and narratives, and anthropological, folkloric and sociological perspectives.

Mary de Young, a professor of sociology at Grand Valley State University, is also the author of The Day Care Ritual Abuse Moral Panic (2004, $45). She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


“powerful...excellent...poignant...revealing...recommended for all libraries and for general readers, students, teachers, professionals, and practitioners”

“a Herculean task completed with success. . .this book should be widely available, not merely as a guide to students of the ritual abuse controversy, but as an example of academic objectivity”—
J.S. LaFontaine, author of The Extent and Nature of Organised and Ritual Abuse.


de Young, Mary
The Day Care Ritual Abuse Moral Panic

ISBN: 0-7864-1830-3
280pp. tables, notes, bibliography, index $45 softcover 2004

In the United States during the early 1980s, hundreds of day care providers were accused of sexually abusing their young charges in satanic rituals that included blood drinking, cannibalism, and human sacrifice. The panic surrounding the ritual abuse of children has spread quickly to Canada, Europe, and Australasia, and its rapid dispersion has been unimpeded by international investigations that found no evidence to corroborate the allegations and warned that a moral panic was thrusting them into professional public attention. This work is a sociologically based analysis of the day care ritual abuse panic in America. It introduces the concept of moral panic and analyzes its relevance to the ritual abuse scare, explores the ideological, political, economic, and professional forces that fomented the panic, discusses the McMartin Preschool case as the incident that brought attention to satanic menaces to children, and examines the discourse between the various interest groups that stirred up and spread the moral panic and the day care providers accused of ritual abuse. Also covered are the popular culture representations of day care ritual abuse, the diffusion of the scare to areas overseas, the institutionally symbolic and ideologically contradictory social ends of the panic, and the outcomes of the panic in various settings. The book ends with a discussion of moral panic theory and how it needs to be changed for a complex, multi-mediated postmodern culture, and what lessons can be learned from the scare.

Mary de Young, a professor of sociology at Grand Valley State University, is also the author of The Ritual Abuse Controversy: An Annotated Bibliography (2002, $49.95). She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. $45

Available for immediate shipment
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Box 611, Jefferson, North Carolina 28640, USA. Telephone (336) 246-4460. Fax (336) 246-5018.