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How to relate moral panic with gun & knife crime? help with assignment please Watch

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    Okay so I have to talk about stanley cowen 'folk devils and moral panic' I basically have to show that I understand. So in my assignment i will be talking about the media, gangs (gun and knife crime) and the economic of today.

    What i'm confused about is how do I relate gangs (gun and knife crime) with moral panic theory. Like how can I word this, can anyone give me any examples.

    I have read parts of stanley cowen book but it's just not sinking in..lol.

    So when talking about gangs do i say, gangs have a 'folk devil' and moral entrepeneurs' FOLK devils are the media hyping it up so to say and moral entrepeneurs are the ones being killed by gangs and being involved in gangs...?

    Gosh i just confused maself lol...help..please..
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    (Original post by misstalkalot)

    What i'm confused about is how do I relate gangs (gun and knife crime) with moral panic theory. Like how can I word this, can anyone give me any examples.

    I have read parts of stanley cowen book but it's just not sinking in..lol.

    So when talking about gangs do i say, gangs have a 'folk devil' and moral entrepeneurs' FOLK devils are the media hyping it up so to say and moral entrepeneurs are the ones being killed by gangs and being involved in gangs...?

    Gosh i just confused maself lol...help..please..
    "Folk devils" are the youth groups mods, rockers; and today they are youth gangs or just young people in general.

    The "moral entrepreneurs" are the media and particularly the tabloid media.

    First of all you need to define moral panic. In simple terms it is an exaggeration of a threat to social order. Cohen looked a media reporting of mods and rockers fighting and showed how the media exaggerated.

    So with regard to the reports of knife crime over the last couple of years (mostly in 2008) the media reported it so much that it was disproportionate to the actual problem. Young people are more likely to be seriously maimed or killed by motor vehicles than their knife-wielding class-mates.

    It is important to recognise that the media do not just make up these stories, but moreover they amplify reports of knife crime incidents in the day to day work to make headlines. Commentators then respond to these reports with often exaggerated claims that we are experiencing the end of civilisation as we know it.

    Politicians then feel they need to respond to this, and so the threat to social order is again amplified and the issue becomes politicised. Instead of letting the police and judicial system get on with their job, politicians then feel the need to respond with "though new measures". The media often demand this from politicians and run their own campaigns to grab further attention.

    The effect this can have is to make a small problem worse. If young people feel they are likely to get stabbed then they are more likely to arm themselves against any possible attack. Hence more youths end up carrying knives.

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