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A2 scly4 *moral panics question*

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    • Thread Starter

    Assess sociological explanations of the role of the mass media in creating moral panics about crime and deviance.

    Is anyone sure how to answer this question? I know this may be a stupid question.. But we're still required to talk about how the media represents crime, how the it causes crime and not just talk about moral panics by itself? It's a 21 mark question so I'm assuming we must include everything from the topic ?? I would appreciate some help! Thanks in advance X

    You will need to talk about how the crime is represented by the media then you can link it to moral panics etc
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by ellie0497)
    You will need to talk about how the crime is represented by the media then you can link it to moral panics etc
    Thank you!!! 😜😜

    I would say that you should talk about Stan Cohen's moral panic theory, and the role of the media in depicting the deviants to the public, and the exagerration and distortion of their actions. This results in a disproportionate reaction from the public and leads to the labelling of the deviant actors as "criminal". It could also lead to new legislation enforced against them by the "moral crusaders" ie those in positions of power who enforce the rules to protect society from these 'deviants'. This leads to the deviants being stigmatised in society and left as "outsiders" (here you could reference Becker, 1963). Being so labelled and shunned, viewed as a threat to society, could cause them to play up to their name and segregate themselves from society. Here you could mention Merton's self-fulfilling prophecy and Wilkin's (1964) deviancy amplification.

    The moral panic created by the media representations evoke behaviours from those who are the subject of the moral panic, and thus could actually cause more crime to be carried out by the deviants, thus the moral panic has inadvertantly caused more crime.

    Also it's worth noting that according to Hall et al. (1978), there exists primary definers and secondary definers. The primary definers are those in positions of power who decide what "news" becomes the news that is portrayed by the media. These "facts" are then translated by the media into a form suitable for the public, evoking a wave of panic across society in retaliation to the threat they believe they are vulnerable to.

    However, it is important to remember that not every body will react in the same way... some may take it with a pinch of salt and thus show personal agency (choice), some may not perceive the threat to be so specific to them if not in a near location etc.

    Hope this helps!
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