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UNIT 2 - Sept 23rd Moral Panics.docx

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CRM 312
Stephen Muzzatti

CRM312 – UNIT TWO rd Week 4: September, 23 , 2013 UNIT TWO: Moral Panics [Stanley Cohen, 1972] “A condition, episode, person or group of…. - Moral panic was first brought up by Stanley Cohen, who was fascinated by the way in which media constructed a particular youth crisis in England: the “clash” of the two dominant youth tribes, Mods and Rockers - MODS: interested in consumptive & behavioural attributes outside their working class (very into “high fashion”). This was an attempt of working class youths to visually distance themselves from their class. Their expensive, “dressy” clothing was veiling their class status, and this was the main characteristic of the Mods. Their preferred mode of transport was their own private vehicle (Italian scooters, like Vespa) and it was a mark of distinguishing themselves as well. Since they obviously couldn’t afford new scooters, it came down to them buying old scooters and fixing them up, putting their particular mark on them such as extra lights or mirrors. They listened largely to ska/”beat” music. - ROCKERS: though the Rockers were also working class, they embraced this status, and stylistically looked very different. Rockers chose to display themselves in a “We’re working class and proud!” way by wearing jeans (specifically a fashion faux-pas since jeans belonged strictly in the factory). This advertisement of their class created a “greaser style”. However, this was an authentic and practical/utilitarian style since they preferred to ride full, heavy British motorcycles. They listened to what was considered rock music (such as Elvis Presley). - Youth from the same social class chose two very different forms of style, and essentially Mods spent a lot of time cleaning up since they did the same things in terms of work as the Rockers - Heart of the moral panic: instances where members of these two subcultures clashed.  It was fashionable for kids to spend banked holiday weekends (our Victoria Day, for example) at seaside towns, where they engaged in things like drinking and “masculinity games” to determine who was strong, who was weak, real, or a wimp, etc. (such as fights)  Media seized this, and arguably sparked the moral panic (newspaper article title: WILD ONES “BEAT UP” MARGATE) inspiring fear of these youth tribes  Appropriation: several years later, we’ve come to realize now that it wasn’t a big deal, and we now use Rods VS Mockers as a way to sell motorcycles and scooters back to the public, where the image would have once been feared IMPORTANT FIGURES 1) Frank Tannenbaum (1938) – Dramatization of Evil & Tagging  Studied young teen/pre-teen & how they used their leisure time (some in legitimate ways such as sports, some in a fugitive manner, such as skipping school or underage drinking)  Found that when caught in these relatively minor offences by authorities, a “tag” is attached (“drinker”, “truant”) and it becomes their identity (no longer the “paper boy” but the “drinker”) 2) Edwin Sutherland (1950) – Sexual Psychopath Laws  Coined the term “white-collar crimes”  Looked at the way different states constructed laws to deal with a very small number of very serious vicious, violent sexual crimes. In response to these crimes, states created sexual psychopath laws to deal with them  The problem: because the way these laws were constructed (vague/too broad, and written in agitation or in a rush) so they were largely ineffective  This had a :widening of the net” effect: they proposed to deal with violent sexual offenders, but began to ensnare people the law wasn’t created for Example: 17 year-olds having consensual sexual relations with a 15 year-old were being roped in by the law when it wasn’t designed for them 3) Edwin Lemert (1951 & 1967) – Deviancy Amplification Spiral  The overreaction to a deviant act may propel more serious forms of criminal behaviour as a way of coping  Transgressive behaviour that is relatively minor is considered the primary deviance which we all engage in at some point,  Example: telling a lie, cheating  Most of these go completely undetected  When detected, however, they are punitively responded to, and we then may have secondary deviance (pushed into a situation, where more serious forms of deviant behaviour are indulged in as a way of coping)  Example: smoking/dr
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