The Culture of Fear and Its Effects on Society Essay

1055 Words Feb 23rd, 2012 5 Pages
The Culture of Fear and its Effects on Society
Min Kim Fear and the marketing of paranoia and uncertainty have become daily staples in today’s culture. Every day there arise new threats to national security manufactured by politicians and fuelled by the public’s demand to be protected from these imaginary bogeymen. With the vast increases in technology our society has experienced in the past forty years the news media have become an especially effective orator of impending doom, the daily exposés about the “silent killer” that lurks in your kitchen cabinet; bombard our society daily with dozens of urgent reminders of the real and imagined dangers that lurk in and outside our homes. The consumption of fear has become a diet our society
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In conjunction with the media, fear mongering is quickly warping our society into one that only harbors fear and paranoia towards each other (Perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour: Findings from the 2008/09 British Crime Survey).
As instances of violent crime decline the media has ramped up reporting instances of violent or disturbing crimes, according to a recent Gallup poll they approximated that about half of Americans are now more concerned about crime since 2004 (Perceptions of Crime Problem Remain Curiously Negative, 2007) even though crime has been shown to be in decline since 1993(Reflections on the Crime Decline? Lessons for the Future?, 2002) during this time media reporting on crime nearly quadrupled (Do You Believe What Newspeople Tell you? Arlington, VA: Newseum and The Roper Group 1997). The hysteria in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings and Michael Moore’s exploitative documentary there was an uproar across the entire nation about the prevalence of easily accessible firearms, the effects of violent entertainment on youth and security in schools. The response to these fear fuelled flames was to enact draconian zero tolerance policies in public schools across the country that have forced teachers and administrators to suspend or even expel students outright when before they were allowed greater
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