Moral Panic And Its Effects On Society

2233 Words9 Pages
Moral panic is “a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests and its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or resorted to; the condition then disappears, submerges or deteriorates and becomes more visible” (Cohen, 1973, p.9). This means moral panic is an exaggeration or distortion of some perceived deviant behaviour by the media. In contemporary context, moral panics are not just one-off events, “it is their reappearance that confirms their status as moral disturbances of any significant order” (Marsh and Melville, 2011, p.7). Basically moral panics are social issues that relate to real fears about a particular behaviour such as paedophilia due to the exaggeration of media influence. Throughout the ages, media and society have been concerned over children. Instead of youth as folk devils, children nowadays serve as the victims of folk devils (Critcher, 2002, p.532). With these trigger events popping up, stereotypes are gradually formed. In recent British history, Paedophile had become one of the most terrifying folk-devils (Jenkins, 1992, p.99). Paedophile behaviour is a moral panic one legal case and the panic is generally fuelled by the sensationalism of media in
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