Moral Panics

  • Created by: jesskeayy
  • Created on: 30-04-17 14:41
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  • Moral Panics
    • Based on false/ exaggerated ideas that certain groups misbehave and cause menace to society
      • Referred to by Cohen as the 'folk devil'
      • Fuelled by false media coverage of social issues
    • Cohen studied the mods and rockers in the 60s. He noted how the media used symbolic shorthand to stereotype the folk devil
    • Lifecycle of a moral panic:
      • Step 1. Group or activity gains media attention
      • Step 2. Media gives the group particular characteristics, making them identifiable
      • Step 3. Moral entrepreneurs react to media and condemn the group
      • Step 4: Rise in reporting of the group to the police
      • Step 5. Agencies stamp down on the groups behaviours
      • Step 6. Deviance is amplified, as the group is over-policed
    • Cohen identified the media as moral crusaders.
      • Media played a part in the creation of a moral panic
        • They want to swell public opinion, for the authorities to forma 'moral clampdown' on the group
      • Moral panics are used to soften public opinion, this acts as a form of ideological control
        • Media coverage over Islamic Terrorism
          • Brought in the Terrorism Act 2000, this took away civil liberties, though the public were not told of this
    • Moral panics happen as  a reaction to rapid social change, this serves ruling-class ideology and makes profit for media owners
        • Moral panics are an outdated concept. We're now so used to moral panics, that we take no notice of them
      • We do not have a single response to media messages, as we have such a diverse variety of media
      • New Media means that the folk-devils can have their view-points and opinions heard


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