Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Risk, childhood, morality, and the internet : an anthropological study of internet sexual offending
Author: Rimer, Jonah R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 743X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis is an anthropological study of Internet sexual offending, more specifically the viewing of child abuse media. It is based on 17 months of participant-observation in UK group programs for individuals who had downloaded illegal child abuse media, semi-structured interviews with participants, program staff, and police, and staff focus groups. Through engaging directly with offenders and those managing them, it provides an in-depth, qualitative understanding of how Internet use and perceptions of online spaces play a key role in Internet sexual offending, while also asking broader questions about online sociality, morality, and effects on normative behaviour. The central argument posits that in moving beyond commonplace explanations for Internet offending, more attention must be given to Internet use, perceptions and constructions of online spaces, and effects on social norms to explain this phenomenon. It then follows to suggest that for some offenders, these elements can be instrumental in their sexualization of children and choice to view abusive media. The thesis specifically explores why and how some people in the UK engage with illegal child abuse media, with particular attention to notions of risk, childhood, morality, and the Internet. Employing Foucauldian and neo-Foucauldian theory, anthropology of the Internet, and constructionist theories of childhood, focus is placed on multiple areas: the potential social, emotional, sexual, and Internet-specific factors associated with offending; participants' relationships with the Internet and constructions of online spaces; participants' perceptions of childhood and children online and offline; and, societal and institutional efforts to respond to the above, including the larger justice system and fieldwork group program. The general research areas are social science of the Internet, childhood studies, human sexuality, group therapeutic processes, policy and law, and research methodology and ethics.
Supervisor: Boyden, Jo; Potter, Caroline Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission ; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology ; Internet research ; Internet and everyday life ; Children and youth ; Criminology ; Criminology ? Crime,rehabilitation and desistance ; Criminology ? Crime Control Policy ; Internet sexual offending ; Internet sexual offenders ; sexual offending ; sexual offenders ; online crime ; ethnography ; the Internet ; child abuse ; child abuse media ; child pornography ; risk ; childhood ; morality