An Inside Look at Moral Panics Essay

An Inside Look at Moral Panics Essay

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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 ...


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... 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.

Bibliography

Kuzma, Cindy. "Sex, Lies, and Moral Panics." Alternet. http://www.alternet.org/story/26131/sex,_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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch-hunt (accessed May 13, 2014).



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