Features of a moral panic AS sociology

Topics: Causality, Mass media, Self-fulfilling prophecy Pages: 1 (261 words) Published: December 20, 2013
One feature of a moral panic is stigmatisation. This means that individuals involved in that particular moral panic are labelled. For example, Mods and Rockers didn’t often fight however, after a small conflict at a seaside location many people believed that the mods and the rockers were in a consistent conflict and in turn many media sources began using words such as “antisocial” and “violent” in relation to any youth belonging to this particular subculture. Labelling these groups as the cause of the problem (the fights) can therefore lead to self-fulfilling prophecy which causes more Mods and Rockers to believe that they should (and are expected to) act in a violent way towards each other, this makes the problem significantly more apparent in society. Another feature of a moral panic is the media amplification of a problem. For example, after Acid House gained a reputation for hosting large parties that were ‘ecstasy fuelled’. Many media sources exaggerated the extent to which there was a discrepancy of morality. After a death related to the use of ecstasy many newspapers began to publish news which was anti-acid house despite the fact that the death was not actually related to an overdose of the drug but instead the extent to which the girl had drunk water during the party she had been at. This therefore shows that the media use a small issue in order to sell papers; they exaggerate the primary issue and even –allegedly- during the Mods and Rockers fights, even encouraged the violent behaviour that had rarely been seen beforehand.
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