Moral Panic Essay

Decent Essays

Moral panics has become a frequent term with in sociology now days. Moral panic is not new, it goes all the way back to 1971. Jock Young discussed the increase in drug abuse and made a statement about the fact how media, public opinions and authorities play a big part in making a moral panic happen. Jock Young was also the first to publish about moral panic in 1971.The term ‘moral panic’ can be defined as a disproportional and hostile social reaction to a condition, person or group defined as a threat to societal values, involving stereotypical media representations and leading to demands for greater social control as well as creating a spiral of reaction. (McLaughlin & Muncie, 2013).

Moral panics have occurred I many ways. The media …show more content…

In 1970 when a period of crises immerged caused by the shifts in politics and economics, the welfare state was blamed for much of the state of ‘sick Britain’. They identified black people, sexual permissiveness and lack of control on younger people a part of the problem in British society. The statistics where used to draw attention to young black people and drove law and order to stem the rise of crime and the need to protect the victims against the ‘mugging’. what Hall et al. argued is that the moral panic about this actually underscored the development of authoritarian populism in Britain. Moral panics has seen to be occurring in periods where the society is undergoing a re-definition of moral boundaries.

Our morals are what defined the line between deviant behaviour and non-deviant behaviour. We get our morals from: family, friends, the way we are brought up and where we have lived through out our lives. Everybody might not have the same morals but we all have a clear perception towards what is and isn’t acceptable in the public eye.

Moral panics entails stigmatization about an individual, group or event. To identify a moral panic according to Kenneth Thompson there are five key elements based on the definition of Cohen:
1) something or someone is defined as a threat to the values that we have.
There must be a form of behaviour that goes against the ‘normal’ standards and moralities. A feeling of

Get Access
Get Access