Characteristics Of Moral Panics

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Moral panics take place when the media outlets take a fairly ordinary event and turn it extraordinary. Cohen states that in a moral panic the media identifies a particular group as a folk devil (1972). Essentially folk devils can be identified as a threat to society's values. This is see when the media presents the group in a negative stereotypical fashion and again exaggerate the scale of the problem. Moral panics have three distinguishing characteristics. In Bonn’s article, Who Benefits From Public Fear, he states that one characteristic of moral panic includes a focused attention, whether real or imagined, of certain individuals or groups that are transformed into what Cohen referred to as “folk devils” by the mass media (2015). Additionally there is a noticeable gap between the concern and object risk poses. Typically this threat is less than generally perceived because of how the media outlets represent the threat. The level of concern over time fluctuates greatly. The usual pattern begins with the introduction of the threat, followed by an increase rise and then peak in public concern, which then therefore, and regularly unexpectedly, dies down. _________________________ Fear, in this topic, can be defined as an anticipation of victimization, rather than fear of an actual victimization. This type of fear relates to how vulnerable a person feels. In his article, Fear of crime: A review of the literature, Hale suggests that the mass media frequently create

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