Moral Panics Essay

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SOC389 Essay 1 1.)Both the Eugenics and Satanism moral panics were both originated in the form of some sort of rumor that over a sustained period of time was amplified to an extreme extent. Both of the moral panics were spread through the form of media and posed a great threat to society. The Eugenics case was a combination of both a moral panic as well as a conspiracy theory being that it was believed that complex human behaviors such as criminality and lack of success could potentially be bred out of existence by breeding only for strength and resistance to disease (Kossy, 2001). The basis for this moral panic began with the uprising familiarity of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which people did not understand fully and applied…show more content…
The “powerful” who first began Eugenics were those from the Human Betterment Foundation and the British Eugenics Society whose main target were the genetically “unfit” and the “feeble-minded” (Kossy, 2001). They categorized specific groups of individuals as being “unfit.” For example, they believed all African Americans to show criminal behaviors, Native Americans to lack civilization, Jews to spread disease, Italians to disobey the law, and the Chinese to overuse opiates (Kossy, 2001). The Satanic moral panic was originated by a power elite, congressman Paul Simon, and then was reemphasized by another power elite, Geraldo Rivera (Victor, 1993). As the Satanic rituals became widely publicized, the powerful continued to reinforce society’s beliefs about the issue, and it began benefitting politicians, movie makers, musicians, and people in the medical industry. Both the Eugenics and Satanism cases involved the power elite manipulating society to conform to their beliefs and to ostracize certain other groups of people. 3.)The Eugenics and Satanism moral panic case studies demonstrate that people have a tremendous fear of social or moral change that they will believe just about anything authorities and opinion leaders tell them to. The Eugenics panic caused people to fear non-whites because they were told they had higher rates of disease and
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