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Re-negotiating Personal Integrity in Finnish Child Welfare

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By means of a semiotic analysis of various modalities, this article identifies two kinds of professional “speaking-images”—that of the legal adviser and the legal expert—and uses these to illustrate how deviant behaviour among children in child care custody is currently being framed. The data consist of comments on the new Finnish Child Welfare Act (LSL 417/2007) found in professional magazines in the field. The main finding is that the legal regulation of interventions in general might work to preserve child integrity. However, deviant acts of children, such as substance abuse, seem to be classified as risks that allow for a compulsory intervention.

Affiliations: 1: The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies and Department of Sociology, University of Helsinki

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