American[ edit ] Many sociologists have pointed out the differences between definitions of a moral panic as described by American versus British sociologists. In addition to pointing out other sociologists who note the distinction, Kenneth Thompson has characterized the difference as American sociologists tending to emphasize psychological factors while the British portray "moral panics" as crises of capitalism. Mugging, the State and Law and OrderStuart Hall and his colleagues studied the public reaction to the phenomenon of mugging and the perception that it had recently been imported from American culture into the UK.
Cohen first looked at moral panics and stated that there are certain periods where society experiences moral panics and these could last for a lifetime or could be short-lived and forgotten. Cohen was one of the first to look at the term moral panic around Mods and Rockers in Britain and focused on the media coverage on these groups in the s.
Cohen found that the media exaggerated statistics including the number of youths involved, the extent of the violence and the damage caused. Further distortion of events increased due to the sensational headlines and use of dramatic reporting.
Cohen continued on to describe the findings as having three common characteristics: Diffusion is where situations in other places become associated with the original situation. Goode and Ben-Yehuda also identified five key features that could describe moral panics: When it comes to street violence, youths are widely associated with this type of deviant behaviour.
It is particularly in the UK that hoodies have been reacted to in such a negative way, so much so that the item of clothing has been banned in public places such as the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent.
This suggests that the concern over street violence involving youth can be seen as a moral panic because banning an item of clothing just because it is associated with such deviance due to the media representation of youths and what they happen to be wearing has been exaggerated which has meant that extreme measures would have to be taken to keep the public happy and enforce social control.
The moral panic about hoodies according to Marsh and Meville was part of a wider concern about the anti-social behaviour of youths and, as with other panics, the reaction to this has been criticized by those within education and those working in the criminal justice system as exaggerated and unreasonable.
However, statistically, youth offending is actually falling. Despite the dramatic drop in recorded crime overall, concerns about the behaviour of young people remains high, suggesting that society does not consider factual statistics when worrying about crime rates.
Concerns over youth crime and street violence have been consistent throughout the years as shown by Cohen for his work on Mods and Rockers. The behaviour of young people since then has caused anger about moral decline and lack of social control.
Crimes statistics show black youths, particularly young black males, commit a disproportionate amount of crime, however the media is known to sensationalise news stories and make vast exaggerations.
The s moral panic surrounding muggings was blamed predominantly on young black men. For example, Arthur Hills was stabbed to death near Waterloo Station in London and this was one of the first crimes to be labelled as a mugging in the media. The stories in newspapers highly reported this type of crime as new and frightening.
Professionals in the area such as police and judges were adamant that this was a huge threat to society. This even led to people thinking that the streets of Britain will become like those of New York or Chicago which had very high rates of street violence at the time Hall, This type of crime was growing more slowly as the time the panic took place then it had done so in previous decades.
This has been a recurring story in newspaper headlines and magazines in recent years. Whilst there may be some support for these claims, the stories are likely to be a distortion of the facts; this is shown by statistics on offending patterns.
A recent self-report survey found that assaults committed by females are more likely to involve a victim they know already and the victim is more predominately male rather than female Budd et al. It may be that assault carried out by a female is more likely to be as a result of anger or an act of self-defence, or against a police officer when confronted perhaps during a drunken night out, or parents, family members, or members of the public are more likely to bring violent acts committed by females to the attention of the police.Essay Stanley Cohen's Concept of a Moral Panic research in The book called “Folk Devils and Moral Panics” was devoted to the issues relevant to the British society in the late s and early s.
Moral panic, on the other hand, is the term used to describe a state of panic induced in a large number of people who feel that a societal norm is being seriously threatened.
For example, most new. Moral panic theory provides researchers with a method of analyzing a situation resulting from a moral panic. Moral panic is, as Cameron describes, a problem “ discussed in an obsessive, moralistic and alarmist manner ”.
A moral panic can be defined in several ways, one definition is a kind of short-hand for public hysteria, by definition irrational, and is almost always held to be indicative of someone elses behaviour rather than our own (Critcher, ).
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More essays like this: definition of moral panic, examples of moral panic, moral. Essay: ‘Moral panic’ 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’.