2 - Hacking, Kind-making: The case of child abuse. The...

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Hacking, Kind-making: The case of child abuse. The signifier of ‘child abuse’ was transformed into a myth in that was socially constructed; it has been organized into an idea that has acquired new meaning and thus represents a larger ideal on the second-order. In place of merely referring to the assault of children, the myth of ‘child abuse’ was expanded and integrated into legislation and cultural practices and “became the worst possible vice”, as noted by Hacking. Although the act of child abuse is real and has actually taken place, the concept of ‘child abuse’ is a structured kind: a type of human behavior that has been selected and modified by society and which in turn is responsible for altering society through the process of world-making. ‘Human’ kinds are thus distinct from ‘natural’ kinds in that their histories have been revised, generating new meaning out of prior events. As Hacking writes, “what we experienced becomes recollected anew… experiences are not only redescribed; they are re-felt.” Yet ‘child abuse’ is a metaphor in that has
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