Crime & Media Week 3.docx

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Monash University
General Education Studies
Danielle Tyson

Moral Panics KEY TERMS Consensus. The achievement of social unity through shared agreement. Demonisation. The act of labelling individuals/groups whose norms, attitudes/behaviours are seen to constitute „evilness‟. Traditionally characterised as folk devils and subjects of moral panics. Deviance. Social and usually moral (as opposed to legal), concept to describe rule-breaking behaviour. Deviancy amplification The moral discourse established by journos and various spiral. other authorities, opinion leaders and moral entrepreneurs who collectively demonise a perceived wrong-doer/group as a source of moral decline and social disintegration, setting off a chain of public, political and police reaction. Folk devils. Individual/group defined as a threat to society, it‟s values and interests. Labelling. Sociological approach to crime and deviancy that refers to the social processes by which certain groups classify and categorise others. Moral panic. Hostile and disproportional social reaction to a condition, episode, person or group defined as a threat. Risk. Concept that emerged to dominate discussions of late modernity. Risk society. Denotes the social shift for the pre-industrial tendency to view negative events as random acts of god/nature, to the post-industrial preoccupation with manmade changes and harm. Signal crime. Incidents/offences that, when seen/experienced, may trigger a change in public beliefs/behaviour. Social reaction. Social process characterising responses to crime and deviance encompassing public, political, CJ and media relations, often used to signify the processes of labelling, stereotyping and stigmatising. Stigmatising. Process by which an individual/group is discredited because of some aspect of their appearance/behaviour. Subculture. Groups of young people whose appearance, norms and behaviour differ from those of the mainstream or parent culture. Youth. Imprecise period between infant and adulthood. In media reporting they‟re more frequently linked to offending than victimisation. Moral panics “A moral panic may be defined as an episode, often triggered by alarming media stories and reinforced by reactive laws and public policy, of exaggerated or misdirected public concern, anxiety, fear, or anger over a perceived threat to social order.”  Varied in intensity, duration and social impact.  Media‟s role in the creation of moral panics.  The reactions of „society‟s guardians‟ (e.g. media) to an immediate problem. o Reaction was largely disproportionate to the alleged threat posed. o Exaggerated and gave rise to anxiety in the public.  Crimes that are being reported are largely disproportionate – kind of reporting that amplifies a problem and demands an immediate response. The moral panic model  Defining features of moral panics: o Moral panics occur when the mass media take a reasonably ordinary event and present it as an extraordinary occurrence. o The media set in motion a deviancy amplification spiral in which a moral discourse is established. o Moral panics clarify the moral boundaries of the society in which they occur, creating consensus and concern. o Moral panics occur during periods of rapid social change, and can be said to locate and crystallise wider social anxieties about risk. o It is usually young people that are targeted, as they are a metaphor for the future and their behaviour is regarded as a barometer with which to test the health/sickness of a society. How the mass media turn the ordinary into the extraordinary  Like any other newsworthy event, the media construct moral panics according to their criteria of „news values‟. o Exaggeration and distortion are key elements in the meeting of the required threshold to turn a potential news events into an actual story.  Moral panics also frequently involve predictability – media prognoses that what has happened will inevitably happen again.  Simplification occurs through a process of symbolisation whereby names can be made to simplify complex ideas and emotions. o A word
More Less

Related notes for ATS2457

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.