Eugenics and Satanism Moral Panics

Topics: Eugenics, Satanic ritual abuse, Satanism Pages: 3 (839 words) Published: May 6, 2013
SOC389 Essay 1

1.)Both the Eugenics and Satanism moral panics were both originated in the form of some sort of rumor that over a sustained period of time was amplified to an extreme extent. Both of the moral panics were spread through the form of media and posed a great threat to society. The Eugenics case was a combination of both a moral panic as well as a conspiracy theory being that it was believed that complex human behaviors such as criminality and lack of success could potentially be bred out of existence by breeding only for strength and resistance to disease (Kossy, 2001). The basis for this moral panic began with the uprising familiarity of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which people did not understand fully and applied incorrectly (Kossy, 2001). Falling hand-in-hand with the misinterpretation of Darwin’s theory, immigration to the United States was also on the rise, increasing population and naturally creating more criminal behaviors. The Satanic moral panic of the 80s and 90s began in the late 70s as a panic about missing children being abducted and killed by Satanists. Much of the already-existing Satanic moral panic was reinvigorated through media, specifically Geraldo Rivera’s “Devil Worship” special (Victor, 1993). The idea of Satanism and the individualist philosophy became popular among teenagers to scare their parents by listening to music displaying Satanic imagery. 2.)The Eugenics and Satanism case studies both display how the powerful groups in society can categorize some groups of people as being the “other” and getting the majority of society to go along with it. The Eugenics moral panic was designed to keep the “white race” white, and bad science led many to believe that because of higher rates of disease and mortality, non-white people were genetically inferior (Kossy, 2001). Eugenics was an example of the monomania of science due to the strong desire of scientists spread to the public in order to bring everything under human control...

References: Kossy, D. (2001). Eugenics. In Strange Creations (pp. 117-156). Los Angeles, CA: Feral House.
Victor, J. S. (1993). The social dynamics of rumor-panic. InSatanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend (pp. 27-56). Peru, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company.
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