'Richly documented and convincingly presented' -- New Society Mods and Rockers, skinheads, video nasties, designer drugs, bogus asylum seeks and hoodies. Every era has its own moral panics. It was Stanley Cohen’s classic account, first published in the early 1970s and regularly revised, that brought the term ‘moral panic’ into widespread discussion. It is an outstanding investigation of the way in which the media and often those in a position of political power define a condition, or group, as a threat to societal values and interests. Fanned by screaming media headlines, Cohen brilliantly demonstrates how this leads to such groups being marginalised and vilified in the popular imagination, inhibiting rational debate about solutions to the social problems such groups represent. Furthermore, he argues that moral panics go even further by identifying the very fault lines of power in society. Full of sharp insight and analysis, Folk Devils and Moral Panics is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand this powerful and enduring phenomenon. Professor Stanley Cohen is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. He received the Sellin-Glueck Award of the American Society of Criminology (1985) and is on the Board of the International Council on Human Rights. He is a member of the British Academy.
Metaphors, moral panics, folk devils, Jack Valenti, Joseph Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes, predictable irrationality, and free market fundamentalism are a few of the topics covered in this lively, unflinching examination of the Copyright Wars: the pitched battles over new technology, business models, and most of all, consumers. In Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars, William Patry lays bare how we got to where we are: a bloated, punitive legal regime that has strayed far from its modest, but important roots. Patry demonstrates how copyright is a utilitarian government program--not a property or moral right. As a government program, copyright must be regulated and held accountable to ensure it is serving its public purpose. Just as Wall Street must serve Main Street, neither can copyright be left to a Reaganite "magic of the market." The way we have come to talk about copyright--metaphoric language demonizing everyone involved--has led to bad business and bad policy decisions. Unless we recognize that the debates over copyright are debates over business models, we will never be able to make the correct business and policy decisions. A centrist and believer in appropriately balanced copyright laws, Patry concludes that calls for strong copyright laws, just like calls for weak copyright laws, miss the point entirely: the only laws we need are effective laws, laws that further the purpose of encouraging the creation of new works and learning. Our current regime, unfortunately, creates too many bad incentives, leading to bad conduct. Just as President Obama has called for re-tooling and re-imagining the auto industry, Patry calls for a remaking of our copyright laws so that they may once again be respected.
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. A moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order.Stanley Cohen, author of the seminal Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972), says a moral panic occurs when [a] condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.Those who start the panic when they fear a threat to prevailing social or cultural values are known by researchers as moral entrepreneurs, while people who supposedly threaten the social order have been described as folk devils. Moral panics are in essence controversies that involve arguments and social tension and in which disagreement is difficult because the matter at its center is taboo.The media have long operated as agents of moral indignation, even when they are not self-consciously engaged in crusading or muckraking. Simply reporting the facts can be enough to generate concern, anxiety or panic.
This reader provides a thorough grounding in issues related to the study of crime, the criminal justice system, and social control. The editors indicate crime's varied and conflicting history as well as its current debates. The mixture of historical and more recent readings shows a variety of perspectives.
Foreword by Noam ChomskyThe work of Stanley Cohen over four decades has come to acquire a classical status in the fields of criminology, sociology and human rights. His writing, research, teaching and practical engagement in these fields have been at once rigorously analytical and intellectually inspiring. It amounts to a unique contribution, immensely varied yet with several unifying themes, and it has made, and continues to make, a lasting impact around the world. His work thus has a protean character and scope which transcend time and place.This book of essays in Stanley Cohen’s honour aims to build on and reflect some of his many-sided contributions. It contains chapters by some of the world’s leading thinkers as well as the rising generation of scholars and practitioners whose approach has been shaped in significant respects by his own. Their focus is on the three key areas of crime, social control and human rights, reflecting the concerns of Stanley Cohen's three seminal books-Folk Devils and Moral Panics, Visions of Social Control and States of Denial.
Crime, Justice and the Media examines and analyses the relationship between the media and crime, criminals and the criminal justice system. This expanded and fully updated second edition considers how crime and criminals have been portrayed by the media through history, applying different theoretical perspectives to the way crime, criminals and justice are reported. The second edition of Crime, Justice and the Media focuses on the media representation of a range of different areas of crime and criminal justice, including: new media technology e.g. social network sites moral panics over specific crimes and criminals e.g. youth crime, cybercrime, paedophilia media portrayal of victims of crime and criminals how the media represent criminal justice agencies e.g. the police and prison service. This book offers a clear, accessible and comprehensive analysis of theoretical thinking on the relationship between the media, crime and criminal justice and a detailed examination of how crime, criminals and others involved in the criminal justice process are portrayed by the media. With exercises, questions and further reading in every chapter, this book encourages students to engage with and respond to the material presented, thereby developing a deeper understanding of the links between the media and criminality.
The media have always played a central role in organising the way ideas flow through societies. But what happens when those ideas are disruptive to normal social relations? Bringing together work by scholars in history, media and cultural studies and sociology, this collection explores this role in more depth and with more attention paid to the complexities behind conventional analyses. Attention is paid to morality and regulation; empire and film; the role of women; authoritarianism; wartime and fears of treachery; and fears of cultural contamination. The book begins with essays that contextualise the theoretical and historiographical issues of the relationship between social fears, moral panics and the media. The second section provides case studies which illustrate the ways in which the media has participated in, or been seen as the source of, the creation of threats to society. Finally, the third section then shows how historical research calls into question simple assumptions about the relationship between the media and social disruption.
It is widely acknowledged that this is the age of moral panics. From the Bulger case to mad cow disease, newspaper headlines continually warn of some new danger and television programmes echo the theme with sensational docmenturies. This concise survey will help student trace the development of ideas of moral panic and to analyse how changing public perceptions are shaped and reflected through the media over time. Using examples drawn from: * club culture and raves * mugging * sex and AIDS * children, violence and the family.
From its largest cities to deep within its heartland, from its heavily trafficked airways to its meandering country byways, America has become a nation racked by anxiety about terrorism and national security. In response to the fears prompted by the tragedy of September 11th, the country has changed in countless ways. Airline security has tightened, mail service is closely examined, and restrictions on civil liberties are more readily imposed by the government and accepted by a wary public. The altered American landscape, however, includes more than security measures and ID cards. The country's desperate quest for security is visible in many less obvious, yet more insidious ways. In Scapegoats of September 11th, criminologist Michael Welch argues that the "war on terror" is a political charade that delivers illusory comfort, stokes fear, and produces scapegoats used as emotional relief. Regrettably, much of the outrage that resulted from 9/11 has been targeted at those not involved in the attacks on the Pentagon or the Twin Towers. As this book explains, those people have become the scapegoats of September 11th. Welch takes on the uneasy task of sorting out the various manifestations of displaced aggression, most notably the hate crimes and state crimes that have become embarrassing hallmarks both at home and abroad.Drawing on topics such as ethnic profiling, the Abu Ghraib scandal, Guantanamo Bay, and the controversial Patriot Act, Welch looks at the significance of knowledge, language, and emotion in a post-9/11 world. In the face of popular and political cheerleading in the war on terror, this book presents a careful and sober assessment, reminding us that sound counterterrorism policies must rise above, rather than participate in, the propagation of bigotry and victimization. Michael Welch is a professor of criminal justice at Rutgers University. He is the author of numerous books including Ironies of Imprisonment and Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding INS Jail Complex.
This study examines the ways in which the moral community is "talked into being" in relation to crime, and the objects of concern that typically occupy its attention. It maps the imagined moral universe of the virtuous and the criminal and charts the relations between these two groups in the "history of the present." It examines the calls to action which symbolically endow the moral community with power. And it looks at the character and content of collective moralizing. The source materials are commentaries about crime and criminal justice appearing in selected newspapers across the Americas. The moral "talk" found there is stylized, routine, trivial and occasionally dramatic. It looks nothing like the weightier renderings of morality that derive from the reconstruction of a particular "ethic" or from the systematic probing of values and moral reasoning. And its fuzzy, offhand, unexceptional and frequently unsystematic nature makes it a difficult candidate for explaining either stability or change in crime policies. But moral talk has intrinsic importance as the creator and sustainer of an imagined moral community, a community that symbolizes the existence and vigor of morality itself and confers a crucially important identity on its self-proclaimed members. And moral talk reveals inherent intersections between normative, empirical and technical discourses, highlighting the relationships between morality, science and social engineering. Thus, a prosaic, instrumental, model of morality is particularly strong in North America, but only found in a more abstract form in Latin America, where it sits alongside a stirring vision of morality, more directly anchored in virtue. Research on social problems, moral panics and the sociology of morality has largely overlooked the type of moral discourse studied here. While emphasizing the culturally contingent nature of the findings, the conclusion reflects on their significance for understanding the nature of moralizing, the artifacts of talk and the construction of identity.