Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance

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Name of resource. Problem URL. Describe the connection issue. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Moral panics : the social construction of deviance. Imprint Cambridge, MA : Blackwell, Physical description p. Online Available online.

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Contributor Ben-Yehuda, Nachman. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index. Contents 1. Crime statistics , in Hall's view, are often manipulated for political and economic purposes; moral panics could thereby be ignited to create public support for the need to " According to Stanley Cohen , [4] who seems to have borrowed the term from Marshall McLuhan see above , there are five key stages in the construction of a moral panic:.

In Stanley Cohen investigated a series of "moral panics". Cohen used the term "moral panic" to characterize the reactions of the media, the public, and agents of social control to youth disturbances.

Moral panic

According to Cohen, these groups were labeled as being outside the central core values of consensual society and as posing a threat to both the values of society and society itself, hence the term "folk devils". In a more recent edition of Folk Devils and Moral Panics, Cohen outlines some of the criticisms that have arisen in response to moral panic theory. One of these is of the term "panic" itself, as it has connotations of irrationality and a lack of control. Cohen maintains that "panic" is a suitable term when used as an extended metaphor.

According to Stanley Cohen in Folk Devils and Moral Panics , the concept of "moral panic" was linked to certain assumptions about the mass media. He further argued that moral panic gives rise to the folk devil by labeling actions and people.

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According to Cohen, the media appear in any or all three roles in moral panic dramas: [4]. Moral panics have several distinct features. According to Goode and Ben-Yehuda, moral panic consists of the following characteristics: [8]. Writing about the Blue Whale Challenge and the Momo Challenge as examples of moral panics, Benjamin Radford lists some of the themes he commonly sees in the modern versions of these phenomena:.

Cohen's idea of the "folk devil" [4] and epidemics can be compared because of their role in spreading mass panic and fear. The intense concentration on hygiene emerged, before the 20th century, with a medical belief referred to as miasma theory , which states that disease was the direct result of the polluting emanations of filth: sewer gas, garbage fumes, and stenches that polluted air and water, which results in an epidemic.

The Great Stink of was blamed on miasma, along with reoccurring cholera epidemics during the Victorian era. During the year , the year , the late s, and the s, the United States had a moral panic over communism and feared being attacked by the Soviet Union.

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In the late s and the s, Senator Joseph McCarthy led a witch hunt against communists called McCarthyism , where people were accused of being communists. Fixation on the switchblade as the symbol of youth violence, sex, and delinquency resulted in demands from the public and Congress to control the sale and possession of such knives. In earlys Britain, the two main youth subcultures were mods and rockers. The "mods and rockers" conflict was explored as an instance of moral panic by sociologist Stanley Cohen in his study Folk Devils and Moral Panics , [25] which examined media coverage of the mod and rocker riots in the s.

Newspapers of the time were eager to describe the mod and rocker clashes as being of "disastrous proportions", and labelled mods and rockers as "sawdust Caesars", "vermin" and "louts". The magazine Police Review argued that the mods and rockers' purported lack of respect for law and order could cause violence to "surge and flame like a forest fire".

One of the prosecutors in the trial of some of the Clacton brawlers argued that mods and rockers were youths with no serious views, who lacked respect for law and order. Research shows that fear of increasing crime is often the cause of moral panics. Japanese jurist Koichi Hamai explains how the changes in crime recording in Japan since the s caused people to believe that the crime rate was rising and that crimes were getting increasingly severe. There have been calls to regulate violence in video games for nearly as long as the video game industry has existed, with Death Race a notable early example.

The industry attracted controversy over violent content and concerns about effects they might have on players, generating frequent media stories drawing connections between video games and violent behavior as well as a number of academic studies reporting conflicting findings about the strength of correlations. Since the s, there have been attempts to regulate violent video games in the United States through congressional bills as well as within the industry.

Ferguson and others have explained the video game moral panic as part of a cycle that all new media go through. Supreme Court ruled that legally restricting sales of video games to minors would be unconstitutional and called the research presented in favor of regulation "unpersuasive". Some critics have pointed to moral panic as an explanation for the War on Drugs. Some have written that one of the many rungs supporting the moral panic behind the war on drugs was a separate but related moral panic, which peaked in the late s, involving media's gross exaggeration of the frequency of the surreptitious use of date rape drugs.

In the s and later, some groups, especially fundamentalist Christian groups, accused the games of encouraging interest in sorcery and the veneration of demons.

Also known as the "satanic panic", this was a series of moral panics regarding Satanic ritual abuse that originated in the United States and spread to other English-speaking countries in the s and s, and led to a string of wrongful convictions. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS may lead to or exacerbate other health conditions such as pneumonia , fungal infections , tuberculosis , toxoplasmosis , and cytomegalovirus. It took place at a time when both groups were beginning to voice an increased concern with the growing media attention and fear-mongering that AIDS was attracting.

The illness was still negatively viewed by many as either caused by, or passed on through, the gay community. Once it became clear that this wasn't the case, the moral panic created by the media changed to blaming the overall negligence of ethical standards of the younger generation both male and female , resulting in another moral panic.

No distinction obtains for the agenda between 'quality' and 'tabloid' newspapers, or between 'popular' and 'serious' television. In the s, blame shifted to "uncivilized Africans" as the new "folk devils", with a popular theory alleging that HIV originated from humans having sex with simians. This theory was debunked by numerous experts.

Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance - Erich Goode, Nachman Ben-Yehuda - Google книги

See: Blue star tattoo legend. The blue star tattoo urban legend states that a temporary lick-and-stick tattoo soaked in LSD and made in the form of a blue star the logo of the Dallas Cowboys is often mentioned , or of popular children's cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson , is being distributed to children in the area in order to get them 'addicted to LSD'; even though LSD is rarely addictive. The legend may have arisen from the mistaking of actual LSD blotter paper, which sometimes has cartoon characters or other designs on it, for temporary tattoos.

The media narrative of a sex offender highlighting egregious offenses as typical behavior of any sex offender, and media distorting the facts of some cases, [51] has led legislators to attack judicial discretion , [51] making sex offender registration mandatory based on certain listed offenses rather than individual risk or the actual severity of the crime, thus practically catching less serious offenders under the domain of harsh sex offender laws.

In the s and s, there have been instances of moral panics in the UK and the US related to colloquial uses of the term pedophilia to refer to such unusual crimes as high-profile cases of child abduction.

A Sociological Understanding of Moral Panic

The moral panic over pedophilia began in the s after the sexual revolution. While homosexuality was becoming more accepted after the sexual revolution, pro-contact pedophiles believed that the sexual revolution never helped pro-contact pedophiles. Despite receiving some support, PIE received lots of backlash when they advocated for abolishing or lowering age of consent laws.

As a result, people protested against PIE. In the s, the media began to report more frequently on cases of children being raped, kidnapped or murdered. In , a 6 year old boy named Adam Walsh was abducted, murdered, and beheaded. Investigators believe the murderer was serial killer Ottis Toole. The murder of Adam Walsh took over nationwide news and led to a moral panic over child abduction. After Adam Walsh was killed, new laws for missing children were created. Before the s, there wasn't much data published yet about sex offenders.

The inaccurate data led to society believing that sex offenders have a very high recidivism rate and this belief led to the creation of sex offender registries. These cases of children being killed, raped or abducted led to a creation of sex offender registries and sex offender laws. This led to a moral panic where parents became hypervigilant and worried there were child sex offenders hiding behind trees to kidnap children. Parents also were worried about what would happen to their children at playgrounds. Society's opinion on sex offenders is generally extremely negative, with sex offenders being one of the most hated types of people in society.

Wood wrote, "Many studies have been conducted to evaluate the public's attitude toward sex offenders and most, to put it bluntly, would like to torture them before they are sentenced to death". After the Columbine High School shooting happened on April 20, , people began to become very worried about school shootings.

After the September 11 attacks in , the United States began to have a widespread fear of terrorism. After the September 11 attacks, saw a dramatic increase in hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs. The amount of assaults against Muslims in the United States reached a high peak in and then that peak was surpassed by a new, much higher peak in Many critics of contemporary anti-prostitution activism argue that much of the current concern about human trafficking and its more general conflation with prostitution and other forms of sex work have all the hallmarks of a moral panic.

They further argue that this moral panic shares much in common with the 'white slavery' panic of a century earlier that prompted passage of the Mann Act. In the mids, jenkem was reported to be a popular street drug among Zambian street children manufactured from fermented human waste. It has been observed that reliable data and relevant research are generally lacking about chemsex the consumption of drugs by gay men to facilitate sexual activity [84] and this situation is generating a climate of moral panic.

From an ethical standpoint, it is important that clinicians become aware of the politically reproductive nature of their profession and how they are required to codify themselves and clients into ideological positions. Related Articles:.

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