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The Moral Panic explained
Transcript of The Moral Panic explained
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
wider social implications
An event occurs and, because of its nature, the media decide it is worthy of dramatic coverage and the event is signified as a violent, worrying one.
"Full Colour Pics of Satanic Abuse Site"
"Terrorist Cell plot attack"
Connections are made between one event and the wider malaise of society as a whole.
After the initial event, the life of the story is extended through the contributions of 'expert' opinionmakers, who establish that this one event is just the tip of the iceberg, and that it is part of an overall pattern which constitutes a major social menace.
Thus public attention is focused on the issues.
"Child abuse figures on the up"
"Safety concerns at babyfood packing plants"
"Youth Groups targeted by Extremists"
Moral panics seek some sort of resolution and this often comes with a change in the law, designed to further penalise those established as the threatening deviants at the source of the panic.
"New clampdown on devil-worshippers"
"Strict New Safety Controls on Babyfood"
"Hate Groups Banned"
This satisfies the public who feel they are empowered politically by the media.