By Stanley Cohen
'Richly documented and convincingly presented' -- New Society
Mods and Rockers, skinheads, video nasties, dressmaker medicines, bogus asylum seeks and hoodies. each period has its personal ethical panics. It used to be Stanley Cohen’s vintage account, first released within the early Seventies and often revised, that introduced the time period ‘moral panic’ into common dialogue. it's a great research of how during which the media and sometimes these able of political energy outline a situation, or workforce, as a risk to societal values and pursuits. Fanned by means of screaming media headlines, Cohen brilliantly demonstrates how this ends up in such teams being marginalised and vilified within the well known mind's eye, inhibiting rational debate approximately suggestions to the social difficulties such teams symbolize. in addition, he argues that ethical panics pass even extra by means of picking the very fault strains of energy in society.
Full of sharp perception and research, Folk Devils and ethical Panics is vital examining for a person eager to comprehend this robust and enduring phenomenon.
Professor Stanley Cohen is Emeritus Professor of Sociology on the London university of Economics. He acquired the Sellin-Glueck Award of the yankee Society of Criminology (1985) and is at the Board of the overseas Council on Human Rights. he's a member of the British Academy.
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Additional resources for Folk Devils and Moral Panics (Routledge Classics)
How can the exact gravity of the reaction and the condition be assessed and compared with each other? Are we talking about intensity, duration, extensiveness? Moreover, the argument goes, we have neither the quantitative, objective criteria to claim that R (the reaction) is ‘disproportionate’ to A (the action) nor the universal moral criteria to judge that R is an ‘inappropriate’ response to the moral gravity of A. i n tr o d uc ti o n to th e th ird edit io n This objection makes sense if there is nothing beyond a compendium of individual moral judgements.
The field of collective behaviour provides another relevant orientation to the study of moral panics. There are detailed accounts of cases of mass hysteria, delusion and panics, and also a body of studies on how societies cope with the sudden threat or disorder caused by physical disasters. 6 In this line of theory, explicit attention has been paid to social types by Klapp,7 but although he considers how such types as the hero, the villain and the fool serve as role models for a society, his main concern seems to be in classifying the various subtypes within these groups (for example, the renegade, the parasite, the corrupter, as villain roles) and listing names of those persons Americans see as exemplifying these roles.
Newly refined methods of predicting risk (like actuarial tables, psychological profiling, security assessments) become themselves objects of cultural i n tr o d uc ti o n to th e th ird edit io n scrutiny. If these methods reach quite different conclusions – Prozac is a safe drug; Prozac is a dangerous drug – the discourse shifts to the evaluative criteria or to the authority, reliability and accuracy of the claims-maker. Even further from the original ‘thing’ the shift takes a moral turn: an examination of the character and moral integrity of the claims-makers: Do they have a right to say this?