The explicit idea of child abuse emerged at a definite time (1961), at a definite place (Denver) in the discussions of some authoritative people (pediatricians). The immediate reference was battered babies, but the reference was very quickly extended. New connotations were acquired. The idea became embedded in new legislation, incorporated in practices, and changed a wide range of professional activities involving social workers, police, schoolteachers, parents, busy-bodies. When writing this I wanted to emphasize how we have concepts, practices, institutions, and even people being formed and molded before our very lives.
Child Abuse; Social Construction; History and Philosophy of the Science