Stanley Cohen's Concept of a Moral Panic Essay Example.
Moral panic was a term explored by Stanley Cohen in the early 70's and is defined as a condition, episode, person or a group of people who are portrayed as a threat to societal values and interests, its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media.
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Moral panic is a condition where there is a concern over the behaviour of certain group or a particular category and is a threat to the societal values and interests. (Cohen 1973).
Moral Panic - Moral panic is the intense feeling formulated throughout the population dealing with threatening issues concerning shifts in social order. In order for moral panic to spread over a community there must be concerns and comments frequently made about a person’s or persons’ negative behavior impacting the society.
Moral panics ensue when reaction to this development is amplified by agents of social control (Cohen 1980:9). Any panic caused by the paedophile priest is promptly concealed by the Church; the priest in concern is relocated, rehabilitated or placed on leave until the moral panic diminishes (Vexen 2009).
Moral panic is defined as a process wherein the members of the society and the culture become more aggressive to the challenges and changes to their accepted values and ways of life. It can also be defined as treat to the society and values of the people.
Sparked by the first wave of works by Jock Young, who later influenced his good friend Stanley Cohen’s writing Images if Deviance in 1971, the concept of Moral panics is one that forces us to look greatly into societies social anxieties and how they have changed throughout the years.