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Theory Of Moral Panic

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The term moral panic was first introduced by criminologist and sociologist Jock Young, who was doing an investigation on drug-taking and the public’s concerns on the increase on drug abuse in Porthmadog during 1967 and 1969. He noted, “the moral panic over drug-taking results in the setting-up of drug squads’ by police departments, which produces an increase in drug-related arrests” (Thompson, 1998, p7). However it was Stanley Cohen, a South African sociologist, who got the credit for this concept. According to Cohen, moral panic occurs when “a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.” The use of the word moral indicates a concern of principles between right and wrong…show more content…
Parties started being organized outside of London in various venues, mainly abandoned warehouses. The location of these parties were kept secret until the very last minute to ensure that the party-goers arrived before the police could. They figured once the venue was filled up with a couple thousand people, the police would be pretty powerless to stop them. One of these parties being Tony Colston-Hayter’s, a full weekend party which he called “Apocalypse Now.” It was the party that put Acid House on the maps. He invited ‘News at Ten’ to broadcast the event on the last day it was held, it was the first time the whole public was exposed to the new world of Acid House and they were not pleased at all. The event gained a lot of negative feedback as people were in “shock” over the “spaced out kids.” Many media outlets cancelled interviews with the DJs of these events and several radio stations banned any records containing the word…show more content…
It was something they didn’t understand and therefore did not approve of, labelling the group as social deviants.
Cohen cites Becker (1963) “...deviance is created by society… social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance and by applying those rules to particular persons and labelling them as outsiders. From this point of view, deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an ‘offender’” (pp 12-13)
Depending on how one choses to look at it, the public could also be viewed as social deviants by this new rave culture. People in this new subculture had become accustomed to this new lifestyle, they found a group were they were accepted and possibly couldn’t understand why this dominant group would want to live such a conformed life. However they had no real say, it was all down to the media to decided on who got labeled as the social
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