TMA4 Question - Compare and contrast two views of how social order is produced in public spaces.

Topics: Sociology, Mass media, Marshall McLuhan Pages: 5 (1574 words) Published: May 29, 2014

TMA4 Question - Compare and contrast two views of how social order is produced in public spaces.

“Whoever controls the media controls the mind” (Jim Morrison 1943-1971).excellent quote i had forgotten that one To establish a view on how social order is produced, in this essay the main focus will be on two researcher’s arguments both on social disorder specifically in regard to the influence of the mass media. Sociologist Stanley Cohen (1973) suggests that the media depiction of antisocial behaviour helps to construct what he labels ‘folk devils’. Whilst social scientists Stuart Hall et al (1978) argued that the mediation of disorderly behaviour led to the belief that society was in a ‘crisis’. By using my own examples and illustrations I will compare and contrast these two theories and furthermore for differentiation include a more present-day theory on social disorder through Huesmann et al 2003. Thereby through an examination of mediation (media spin) on disorderly behaviour attempt to define how one part of social order is produced in public spaces. Good clear introduction Sociologist Stanley Cohen’s theory on ‘folk devils’ which he first observed during the 1960’s media portrayal of Mods and Rockers (Making Social lives ,p378) gives an interesting oblique view on how social order is maintained, as according to is theory certain members of the public are classified as outsiders and treat like scapegoats. describe the theory a little bit here The evidence for this can be found as far back as ancient Greece Aristotle’s ‘unruly youths’ (Brake, 1980, p.1) Along with “fears of skilled pickpockets progressing to become burglars in the sixteenth century” (Shore, 2000, p. 21) and as near to our times is the example of Gypsy travellers who are and have been given the dubious pleasure of being one of the “carriers” of social evil and disorder of our days. Good use of examples This Sun headline (March 2005) on the right is just one of the many stereotypical images of gypsies, blown out of all proportion by mass media mediation and an example of that which is coined by Cohen as generating moral panic that is irrational and creates a situation “where people are both terrified and outraged” (Cohen, Making Social lives,p378). This use of inflammatory rhetoric with regards to gypsies is still being currently employed today as a Sun reporter reports he “found a community brimming with fear and anger - and villagers hell-bent on getting rid of them (Sun May 2011). These headlines from the mass media (public space) with regard to gypsies whom historically have many times been the focal point of European society’s ills and represented as’ folk devils’ very good The media campaigns of hostility against these ‘folk devils’ have not only produced moral panic “a pattern of behaviour, group of people or a condition becomes defined as a threat to society, its values and its interests” (Making Social lives, p371). This on-going mass media campaign against gypsies resulted in change the nation's politics and laws to re-address social order. Such, as under sections 77-80 of the 1994 Act, [local authorities may direct persons who are unlawfully residing in vehicles on land in their own area to leave.] This an attempt to renew social order with regards to gypsies and thus allaying public fear.very good The media also played a significant role in sociologists Stuart Hall’s and co-authors (Policing the Crisis (1978) theory. Hall believed that the issue of crime was instrumental in controlling society and that the media constructions “contributed to a widespread belief that there was a crisis in society” (Making (Social lives, p378). As an illustration of some of the biased press coverage of street crime is a picture portrayed by this Sun image (Dec 2010) Hall surmises that this is how the media wishes to portray these issues to the public, as a rise in crime and disorder which can and should be treat by the government with greater...

Bibliography: Cohen, S. (1973) Folk Devils and Moral Panics, London, Paladin.
Hall, S., Critcher, C., Jefferson, T., Clarke, J. and Roberts, B. (1978) Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order, London and Basingstoke, Macmillan.
Huesmann, R., Moise-Titus, J., Pdolski, C-L. And Eron, L. (2003) ‘Longitudinal relations between children’s exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behaviour in young adulthood: 1977–1992’, Developmental Psychology, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 201–23.
Google Image,, accessed 24th /26th May 2011
Google Image, accessed 25th May 2011
Jim Morrison (1943 – July 3, 1971) accessed 20th may 2011
Malcolm X (1925-1965) accessed 20th may 2011
Shore, H. (2000) ‘The idea of juvenile crime in 19th-century England’, History Today, vol. 50, no.6,pp. 21–7;
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