Summary Of The Horrors Of Child Abuse By John M. Johnson

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It is not a hard task to convince someone that child abuse is an inherently bad social problem. In John M. Johnson’s article “The Horrors of Child Abuse”, he focuses on the effects of mass media and how it addresses child abuse as a significant social problem. This way he allows the reader to not only understand that child abuse is a horrifying problem, but to see how the media portrays child abuse to make it such a significant social problem that society believes they should fix. His argument is strong because he puts such an emphasis on the fact that “most child abuse cases do not involve serious injuries. Few produce death" (Silver 116). He breaks down the major components the media uses to create a child abuse horror story. The public responds…show more content…
The public tends to focus on dramatic stories that rely on extreme cases, good or bad, rather than cases that are confusing or hard to understand. Johnson states that “whether the specific feelings evoked are horror, shock, revulsion, sadness, anger, tragedy, or some other is less important than the fact that the feelings are strong ones for most individuals” (Silver 111). When the media evokes strong feelings from the reader than the reader is more inclined to care about he story. In addition to negative emotionality, Johnson argues that disembodiment of interaction also adds to the success of child abuse horror stories. It is easy for the reader to identify the child as an innocent victim and the adult involved as the villain. By having this black and white view of the incident, the reader can easily identify a punishment to solve the problem. By presenting only the facts of the incident the reader there is “no attempt to tell the story from the various participants’ points of view…in this way, abuse is typified as irrational and incomprehensible” (Silver

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