Eugenics and Satanism Moral Panics

Good Essays
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.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Moral Panics

    • 2643 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Sociology 1A. Moral Panics According to Cohen, society is often subject to such instances and periods of moral panic; an occurrence which is characterised by ‘stylized and stereotypical’ representation by the mass media, and a tendency for those ‘in power’ (politicians, bishops, editors and so on) to man the ‘moral barricades’ and pronounce judgement. At times the object and nature of the panic may be considered ‘novel’, such as that concerning the ‘child killers’ of James Bulger in the…

    • 2643 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    moral panics

    • 548 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Moral panics Throughout time there have been a number of panics over a variety of issues, ranging from crime and the activities of youth, to drugs and sexual freedom, each considered a threat to the moral fibre of society. As Furedi points out, ‘newspaper headlines continually warn of some new danger which threatens our health and happiness. Furedi suggests that moral panics have a tendency to occur ‘at times when society has not been able to adapt to dramatic changes’ and when such change leads…

    • 548 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Moral panic has direct influence on how society defines its reality, including a heavy influence on the language of a society. The radicalization panic evolved from the War on Terror and the moral panic that followed terrorist attacks. The radicalization panic is damaging our language by the new use of “radical” and “extreme” and the terms derived from them. Before the War on Terror, radicalization was the process of becoming radical, something could happen to anyone whatever their initial political…

    • 140 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Moral Panic

    • 1673 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Due: 4 October 2012 TASK: Critically discuss the idea of moral panic in the social construction of deviance. INTRODUCTION In order to discuss the idea of moral panic in the social construction of deviance it is important that these three concepts be first defined. Only then is it possible to initiate or conduct an interrogation of the links and connections between the two main inseparable constructs, which are moral panic, and deviance. In brief deviance is defined as “violations of the…

    • 1673 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Moral Panic

    • 333 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Moral panic A moral panic is an intense feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order.[1] The term first appears in the English language in The Quarterly Christian Spectator, a publication from 1830: ‘Do they not speak as men do on other subjects, when they express activity? And is it not the natural language of these expressions that the mind is as far as possible from stagnation, or torpor, or "moral panic?" '[2] It was used again in the following…

    • 333 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Moral Panic

    • 1627 Words
    • 7 Pages

    DIFFUSING MORAL PANIC EVENTS The term moral panic is used to define events of amplified public reaction to a particular situation (Cohen, 2002). It is a social phenomenon characterized by the collective overreaction to an event, such as a crime, that is new or has been present long enough and suddenly sprouted (Cohen, 2002; Goode & Ben-Yehuda, 1994). According to Cohen (2005) moral panics do not date or, in other words, its generation is similar regardless of the time period and the place. Stanley…

    • 1627 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Moral Panics

    • 1319 Words
    • 6 Pages

    At nine o’clock in the morning, I find myself in class trying to focus on the lecture being presented by my teacher; but, my phone buzzes constantly. I am trying to ignore it, but as I quickly glance at my phone, I can tell that more interesting things are being discussed on social media! I imagine receiving a response from a special someone, a Facebook “poke,” or finding out how many “likes” I have received on the picture that I posted just hours ago. Since, I have lost focus in class and find…

    • 1319 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Moral Panic Essay

    • 404 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The term “moral panic” has been attributed to the alarm surrounding youth delinquency and sexual immorality. Considering the fact that the concern led to the formation of the Special Committee of Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents it could be assumed that this situation displayed at least two of the characteristics of moral panics: concern and consensus. The heightened level of concern led to a consensus that the threat was real and action had to be taken to remedy the issue. Volatility…

    • 404 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Moral Panic Definition

    • 642 Words
    • 3 Pages

    whose focus research is on what people’s attitudes are towards language. She writes a long definition on moral panic in Verbal Hygiene explaining how the media and general public exaggerate concerns beyond reason. Cameron reports that Jock Young describes moral panic as the public’s reaction that is “completely disproportionate to the actual problem.” Cameron explains that the causes of moral panic are analyzed in a simplistic manner, but the concern to the problem escalates to intolerable levels. She…

    • 642 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Moral Panic Thesis

    • 2545 Words
    • 11 Pages

    How convincing is the moral panic thesis in explaining media reporting of, and public responses to, youth crime? Moral panic is a concept that examines inconsistent reaction to an event or person. Crimes concerning youths have occurred over the years which have provoked a strong reaction from the public. This essay will mainly focus on how the media reported two events, the Clacton riots in the 1960’s and the murder of toddler James Bulger in the 1990’s and how the public responded to them. It…

    • 2545 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays