Essay On Moral Panic

949 Words4 Pages
The Media and The Manufacture of Deviance
800 words, Assessment Weighting 30%

Briefly define the concept of ‘moral panic’
Cohen argues the concept of moral panic is a person or group that becomes defined as a threat to society to a person’s social value and their interests. Moral panic is fear that comes from a group or issue that causes panic within society, but it’s believed this fear and reaction is exaggerated and this is felt and reacted to by the public forms of media such as newspapers, articles and live news etc; knife crime and islamophobia. “Implicit in the use of two words moral panic is the suggestion that the threat is to something held sacred by or fundamental to the society” (Thompson, Kenneth 1998)

Cohens definition of moral panic is an over exaggerated reaction by groups
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Media is focused on people marginalized in society due to race, ethnicity and sexuality. It is based on well-known stereotypes and reinforces them. Moral panic sends society into mass hysteria over an issue or an event that occurs.
Stanley Cohen believed that media created a moral panic. Stanley had published a book on folk devils and moral panics (1972) which says that moral panic occurs due to people or groups become threats to society and interests.
“Cohen has a strong view that media itself jumps to conclusions and overreacts to behaviour which happens which is challenging to the social norms. Cohen’s work illustrated how those reactions influenced the formation and enforcement of social policy, law, and societal perceptions of threats posed by the youth groups.” (Dr. Bonn, Scott 2015)

Moral panic by society is seen in the media, which fires further social unacceptable behaviour. Within a moral panic the media identify a group as a ‘folk devil’, it can be identified as a threat to society’s values, the media also distorts the group in a negative stereotypical way in which it is then exaggerates the scale of the

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