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Childhood and Crime$
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Claire McDiarmid

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781845860127

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781845860127.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

The Context of the Bulger Case and its Ripple Effect

The Context of the Bulger Case and its Ripple Effect

Chapter:
(p.7) Chapter 2 The Context of the Bulger Case and its Ripple Effect
Source:
Childhood and Crime
Author(s):

Claire McDiarmid

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781845860127.003.0002

This chapter examines, in depth, the way in which the Bulger case has become emblematic of debates surrounding youth crime, and of “evil children” and has been a touchstone for societal responses to such issues. It seeks to place the case in the context of other crimes committed by children looking particularly at the way in which the tension between “child” and criminal” has been mediated by the law. Key themes surrounding the Bulger case, but with more general resonance, are identified and discussed – specifically the notion of the “adult crime” committed by a child; the crime’s visibility through CCTV footage of the abduction of the victim; children’s innocence versus children’s evil; and the fluidity generally of the category of childhood. It then examines sociological constructions of childhood particularly the traditional and the Childhood Studies approaches. Cases covered include those of Mary Cairns (1973); Nicola G (1993) and Peter Henry Barratt and James Bradley (1861).

Keywords:   Bulger, Youth crime, Childhood Studies, Children’s innocence

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