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Beyond "Moral Panics"

Weekly Assignment 4
by

Ryan Ramsahoye

on 16 November 2013

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Transcript of Beyond "Moral Panics"

An Introduction
Beyond "Media Panics"
Introduction
The term "moral panic" is rooted in social science and has now become a part of our everyday language.

This presentation will focus on moral panics as a way to dismiss exaggerated public concern, specifically when dealing with children and the media ,or what some scholars call "Media Panics".
Origins, History and Functions
Stanley Cohen coined the term "moral panic" in one of his texts. (Buckingham, D. & Jensen, H, 414)

The term is derived from the study of how public debates lead to something or someone being labeled as deviant or delinquent. Cohen believes that mass media plays a major role in this process. It is this concept, the medias influence in creating public panics, that Kirsten Drotner calls "media panics". (Buckingham, D. & Jensen, H, 414)

Thus moral panic is a response to popular concerns.
Definitions
MORAL PANIC:
Cohen defines moral panic as, "a condition, episode, person or group of persons [that] emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media" (Buckingham, 415)

GRAMSCIAN HEGEMONY THEORY:
The use of moral panics to nullify the threats to societal values and interests by using authoritarian methods and therefore preserve the rule of law.
Moral Panics. Media and Childhood
Moral and Media panics have been seen throughout history. These panics may seem new and specific, but are often secular. For example the panic regarding children and the media is always the same.

In a sense the panic is no longer about children and the media but rather social change in general. These panics are then just a way to preserve social and cultural power.
An example of a "moral panic".
The over use of children in advertising
Another example of
children being
sensationalized
An example of a moral panic
in response to the emergence of
the internet.
An example of moral panics,
in which the parents restrict
the child's experiences because
they deem it to be
"inappropriate".
Example of the
most widely cited moral panic,Martin Barker’s
account of Britain’s “horror comics”
debate in the 1950s.
(Buckingham, D. & Jensen, H, 414)
Conclusion
To summarize, a moral panic is"a condition, episode, person or group of persons [that] emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media" (Buckingham, 415)

Moral and media panics have occurred throughout history and are centered around media and the child. However over time the focus has shifted towards a need for a general social change.

Thus these moral and media panics
now serve as a way to protect social and
cultural power.
Works Cited
Buckingham, D. & Jensen, H. (2012). Beyond “Media Panics,” Journal of Children and Media, 6, 4, p. 413-429.
Full transcript