Charity and abuse: fundraising and symbolic power in the case of Jimmy Savile

DEAN, Jonathan (2023). Charity and abuse: fundraising and symbolic power in the case of Jimmy Savile. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 53 (2).

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In life, Jimmy Savile was revered as Britain’s greatest charity fundraiser. In death, he is remembered as Britain’s most notorious pedophile. Raising over £40 million for good causes throughout his media career, a year after his death several investigations revealed a history of abuse of hundreds of children, mostly young girls, across the institutions he worked or volunteered at. Using the framework of the symbolic power of charity, this article documents how these crimes were either missed or covered up. Savile used his fundraising prowess and the “good glow” of his reputation to enable his abuse and shield him from discovery. Institutions prioritized their reputation or fundraising income over bad publicity and proper safeguarding. Drawing on a growing critical literature, this is the first article to explore the role of Savile’s charity in his crimes and highlights the increased concern over charity’s role as a tool of reputation laundering for elites.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1503 Business and Management; 1605 Policy and Administration; 1607 Social Work; Political Science & Public Administration; 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour; 4407 Policy and administration
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2023 15:35
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2024 15:30

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