Moral Panic Intro
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Moral Panic Intro






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Moral Panic Intro Moral Panic Intro Presentation Transcript

  • Starter:
    • What is a ‘moral’? Provide a definition.
    • Give an example.
  • MORAL PANIC is the intensity of feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order.
    • According to Stanley Cohen, author of Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972), a moral panic occurs when "[a] condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests."
  • The Mods and Rockers
    • Why might older people have been worried about the advent of this youth culture?
    • According to Stanley Cohen, the media exaggerated the amount of violence. Why might this have been the case?
    • Those who start the panic when they fear a threat to prevailing social or cultural values are known by researchers as “moral entrepreneurs", while people who supposedly threaten the social order have been described as “folk devils."
    • Moral panics are in essence controversies that involve arguments and social tension and in which disagreement is difficult because the matter at its centre is taboo .
    • Dangerous Dogs
    • The media have long operated as agents of moral indignation, even when they are not self-consciously engaged in crusading. Simply reporting the facts can be enough to generate concern, anxiety or panic.
  • The 5 Characteristics:
    • Moral panics have several distinct features. According to Goode and Ben-Yehuda, moral panic consists of the following characteristics:
    • 1. Concern
    There must be awareness that the behaviour of the group or category in question is likely to have a a negative impact on society.
  • Ravers
  • 2. Hostility Hostility towards the group in question increases, and they become "folk devils". A clear division forms between "them" and "us".
  • 3. Consensus Though concern does not have to be nationwide, there must be widespread acceptance that the group in question poses a very real threat to society. It is important at this stage that the "moral entrepreneurs" are vocal and the "folk devils" appear weak and disorganised.
  • 4. Disproportionality The action taken is disproportionate to the actual threat posed by the accused group.
  • Football Hooligans in the 1980’s
    • All seater Stadiums
    • CCTV footage
    • Membership schemes
    • Life bans for trouble makers
    • Alcohol restrictions
    • Police under-cover operations.
  • 5. Volatility Moral panics are highly volatile and tend to disappear as quickly as they appeared, due to a wane in public interest or news reports changing to another topic.
    • James Bulger case
    • Video Nasties