An Inside Look at Moral Panics Essay

An Inside Look at Moral Panics Essay

Length: 995 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Moral Panics
Opinions on personal and social matters are evergrowing and can be found in all forms of media. Themes of sex and their regulation from all forms of figures and institutions influence the public's’ perceptions of normality. The controversies of society that result in a heightened reaction from the public is a moral panic. Reactions that result in these mass panics can be initiated by simple facts about a certain taboo, and as generations change, so do the norms of that society, creating a flux of opinions that can generate violent reactions. Judith Levine, the controversial author of “Harmful to Minors” believed there was an argument against the public addressing the sexual habits of minors as corrupt. One of many moral panics, the moral issue of teenagers and children learning about sex caused controversy because the current lack of information provided to youth was as detrimental to their lives as their elders believed it was beneficial to keep sex from the younger minds. There are numerous moral panics that have occurred since mankind has amassed civilizations since larger groupings of man will result in larger factions and groups themselves, all assuming their own rights to what they believe. An interesting and popular example of a group victimized because others felt their culture was threatened were the groups of people burned since the 1500’s.
Initially occurring mostly in Massachusetts, and burning mostly women, the salem witch trials killed twenty people. Although burnings had been occurring since earlier times in Europe, the salem witch trials have popularized the idea that burnings were conceived in the colony. The colonial’s European origin may explain the activity, though. These trials happened when ...

... middle of paper ...

... mass’s culture as a moral panic. These panics grow from concern of the unknown. The hostility is a response to the threat, and it requires a consensus so there is an acceptance felt by the masses. Of course this means there needs to be disproportionality, so the group threatened is larger than the accused. Finally, volatility takes precedence when the need to eradicate the threat becomes necessary, as in resentful and those unwilling to change feel threatened.


Kuzma, Cindy. "Sex, Lies, and Moral Panics." Alternet.,_lies,_and_moral_panics (accessed May 13, 2014).
Levine, Judith. Harmful to minors: the perils of protecting children from sex. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
Wikimedia Foundation. "Witch-hunt." Wikipedia. (accessed May 13, 2014).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Moral Panics: A Social Problem Essay

- Any person over the age of 12 would have no problem recalling the panic of the H1N1 virus in the United States in 2009. An acute sniffle. The only possibly explanation is Swine Flu. When in reality, during the prime of this epidemic, only about 12,000 fatalities occurred. Now we look back and find these “panics” merely an overreaction. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a panic as “a situation that causes many people to become afraid and to rush to do something.” However in class, it was discussed that a moral panic is a social problem that is largely unsubstantiated....   [tags: Fear, Nationwide, Teens]

Better Essays
537 words (1.5 pages)

Moral Panics And Public Awareness Essay

- 1) choose the theory from part one of the course most relevant to explaining your chosen topic, and provide a succinct analysis of the theory The criminal law are rules of conduct set to prevent ‘crime against the person and crime against the property’ in different time and places (Rush 2003). Each state in Australia has a specific set of criminal law, which is designed to protect individuals of a state from facing possible harm and threat. In order to achieve policy reforms, legal authorities make use of moral panics to create tension in society, so as to increase public awareness and gain social support towards related issues....   [tags: Sociology, Morality, Crime, Bullying]

Better Essays
1171 words (3.3 pages)

Crime, Moral Panics and the Media Essay

- Most people use second hand information as their core source of information about crime, this source of information usually being the media. When carrying out sample research in Birmingham, Susan Smith (1984) discovered that 52% of people obtained most of their information about crime from the media, 36% obtained it from hearsay or alleged experiences of friends and neighbours, 3% from their own experiences, and 1% from the police service themselves (cited in Jones, 2001; 8)....   [tags: Media Has Shaped Our Perception of Crime]

Better Essays
1722 words (4.9 pages)

Moral Panics Regarding Youth Behavior Essay

- Throughout history and in contemporary Britain “a sequence of moral panics about ‘depraved youth’ has been a dominant and recurring feature of media representations of young people” (Muncie, 2004, p. 8), and as a result, the youth-crime nexus has undergone vast transformations in terms of the conception of ‘youth crime’ and its prevailing consequences (Omaji, 2003). In the post-war period, youthful ‘folk-devils’ were continually pinpointed by the media as the underlying source of public anxiety and the main cause for concern regarding “what was wrong with society” (Muncie, 2009, p....   [tags: Sociology ]

Better Essays
2227 words (6.4 pages)

The Great British Media and Its Influence on the Way We View a Crime Essays

- M3.) The Great British media has a huge influence over the way we view crime, there are many different forms of media such as television, radio, advertising, the internet, newspapers, magazines, music and films, due to this media reaches as massive audience across the world, influencing a great number of people and how people view crime. With flashing headline the public can easily be influence to think that crime is all around them and that they are in danger. Because the media does reach such a huge audience it is easy to influence people belief about the level of crime by the style of reporting large headlines with a recent crime can influence how a persons belief of crime in there area,...   [tags: criminology, moral panics]

Better Essays
562 words (1.6 pages)

Media Panics Essay

- A media panic or often referred to as a moral panic, is a term that describes how the media is formulating issues amongst our society. Over time, our culture has shifted and caused for many conclusions regarding media panics and the relationship between youth and the media culture. Based upon previous knowledge and course readings, I have drawn a very disturbing conclusion; this being that no matter what age, children are willing or non willingly now under surveillance to determine what kind of role media is playing in their lives....   [tags: social issues, moral panic]

Better Essays
996 words (2.8 pages)

The Media Of Moral Panics By Ian Marsh And Gaynor Melville Essay

- Introduction The media is a source that is integral to most societies around the world. It has the power to shape our every day lives and even facilitate social change, though this is not necessarily a positive thing. The media is well known for the use of hyperbole which can often have detrimental effects on people within society as this can cause moral panics. A moral panic is when a group of people or a particular act committed by a group of people is labelled as a problem that is threatening to the morals of society, "it is an exaggerated response to a type of behaviour that is seen as a social problem – the term indicates an over-reaction on the part of the media and/or other social in...   [tags: Sociology, Social issues, Folk devil, Morality]

Better Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)

The Concept of Moral Panics Essay

- The Concept of Moral Panics A moral panic is said to occur when the media mobilises public opinion around the condemnation of deviance ("Media coverage of deviance: moral panics", lecture handout, 07-10-02). Deviance, in this context, refers to the violation of social norms and values, and the subsequent disruption of social order. This essay will begin with a clarification of the terms 'moral panic' and 'deviance' and outline how the two concepts are related....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1878 words (5.4 pages)

An Inside Look at Buddhism Essay

- Buddhism first started when a monk named, Siddhartha Gautama, was enlightened, over 2,500 years ago, and over 300 million people all over the world are Buddhists. For most Buddhists, Buddhism is a way of life, and less of a religion. Buddhism is made up by six important subjects: the four noble truths, the eightfold path, samsara, karma, rebirth, and nirvana. Buddhism has many teachings that need to be understood, and one of those teachings is that, everything is temporary and that nothing lasts forever....   [tags: eastern religions and phylosophies]

Better Essays
877 words (2.5 pages)

An Inside Look at Sadomasochism Essay

- An Inside Look at S&M Roy F. Baumeister explores the taboo lifestyles of sadomasochism. The main theme and purpose of the piece is to find out who are masochists, and what do they put themselves through in the name of pleasure. "Across the country, from sophisticated cities to subdued suburbs, men and women are acting out fantasies of sexual domination and submission." (Psychology Today 47) I believe that Baumeister describes a very accurate portrait of who one specific group of masochists is and what they do for pleasure, however, I feel that he fails to recognize the younger generation of masochists....   [tags: social issues]

Better Essays
1094 words (3.1 pages)