Moral panicminority group or a subculture, is dangerously deviant and poses a menace to society. These panics are generally fuelled by, although not always caused by, media coverage of social issues. A widely circulated and new-seeming urban legend is frequently involved. These panics can sometimes lead to mob violence. The term was coined by Stanley Cohen in 1972 to describe media coverage of Mods and Rockers in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. A factor in moral panic is the Deviancy Amplification Spiral.
Recent moral panics in the UK have included the ongoing tabloid newspaper campaign against pedophiles, which led to the assault and persecution of a pediatrician by an angry mob in August 2000, and that surrounding the murder of James Bulger in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom in 1993.
Examples of moral panics, or real or imagined phenomena that spurred moral panic:
- Cocaine (drug) - esp. urban legend of the "Negro Coke Fiend"
- The Columbine massacre led to many schools over-reacting against imagined deviance among their pupils
- Ecstasy (drug) - for example, after the death of Leah Betts in the UK.
- Greek electronic game ban
- Horror comics caused a moral panic in the 1930s
- Immigration - tabloid newspapers frequently report stories about abuse of the British welfare system, paint a misleading picture of immigrant numbers and their activities
- Mad About Boys, scare over a supposedly adult magazine aimed at 8 year olds in the UK, later shown to be overblown
- Magdalen Asylums, imprisonment of women seen as sexually immoral.
- Marijuana (drug) - see Reefer Madness (movie promoting an urban legend)
- Mods and Rockers caused moral outrage in Britain in the 1960s
- Pedophilia - fear of molesters makes for sensational TV news in US.
- Prohibition - a period in the United States when alcoholic beverages were prohibited.
- Poisoned candy - poisoned Halloween scare of the early 1980s was virtually all false.
- Pornography - reaction to Internet pornography in the 1990s and 2000s
- Rap music
- Rock 'n' Roll music
- Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal - personal accusations and the resulting public concern in the 2000s as to sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests
- Satanic ritual abuse
- Scientology in mid-1990s Germany.
- Snuff movies
- Video nasties - films depicting violent acts released on VHS in Britain in the 1980s
- Videogames and violence
- War on drugs
- War on Terrorism
- Witch hunts
- White slavery
|Table of contents|
3 External links