Folk Devils and Moral Panics' - (1)

Folk Devils and Moral Panics' - (1) - Folk Devils and Moral...

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Folk Devils and Moral Folk Devils and Moral Panics’ –Stanley Cohen Panics’ –Stanley Cohen
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“If we do not take steps to preserve the purity of blood, the Jew will destroy civilisation by poisoning us all.” (Hitler, 1938) “Surely if the human race is under threat, it is reasonable to segregate AIDS victims, otherwise the whole of man- - kind could be engulfed.” (Daily Star, 1988)
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Moral Panics Moral Panics “The more comfortable the language of anti- terrorism is to us, the more familiar the terrorist figure who haunts us, the more entrenched that seizure of our political imagination.” (Fortin)
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Cohen’s research was a departure from traditional subcultural Cohen’s research was a departure from traditional subcultural theory – his emphasis was on the theory – his emphasis was on the reaction reaction to the disturbances to the disturbances which took place in Clacton, Easter 1964. Cohen’s work deployed which took place in Clacton, Easter 1964. Cohen’s work deployed a synthesis of a synthesis of structural structural and and labelling labelling theories. theories. The amount of serious violence had been minimal. Most young people who had gone to the seaside did not identify with either Mods or Rockers. In short, the mass media had painted a distorted picture of events. This set in process a ‘deviancy amplification spiral.’ As public concern was ratcheted up, the police became sensitised to the phenomena…
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The police made more arrests, the media reported more deviance, The police made more arrests, the media reported more deviance, more young people readily identified with the Mods and more young people readily identified with the Mods and Rockers…the initial disproportionate response of various state Rockers…the initial disproportionate response of various state and media control agencies generated
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