Moral panic Social Sciences Essay Research Coursework (Essay Sample)
Critically analyse a particular ‘moral panic’ about young people eg ‘Sudanese gangs’; ‘radicalised’ young people; teenage parents; unemployed young people etc. Provide some critical analysis of the ways this issue is constructed, drawing on both establishment and critical theories in your analysis. Based on your analysis provide some suggestions for a way forward in resolving this moral panic.
Length: 1500 words
The aim is to focus on an issue that there is a moral panic about. It could be a narrower issue, but it connects to a broader ‘moral concern’ eg a moral panic about teenage sexting connects to moral concerns about the vulnerability of young women, it also connects to bigger panics about social media.
Remember in the notes what a moral panic is. It is an issue in which the media demonises certain groups as being deviant and a threat to social and moral order. A threat to moral values.
Briefly discuss the issue and examine why it constitutes a moral panic ie what values does it ‘threaten’. Eg youth unemployment threatens the socially held value of working and being self sufficient and contributing to society through paying taxes.
Then discuss how young people are constructed in the context of this moral panic – are they threats, are they victims (or both). Draw on establishment theories to help you analyse these constructions, ie do ideas about identity and role confusion feature in the construction. To what extent is the construction drawing on functionalist ideas about who yp are and what their roles are etc. eg think about how yp are constructed in the context of becoming ‘functional’ workers. Think about role models and concerns about intergenerational unemployment. Think about notions of yp being dependent, rather than transitioning into employment etc.
Also to what extent are the solutions proposed to resolve the issue drawing on establishment ideas eg role models, or control measures.
Think about the impacts of these constructions and the solutions proposed eg the discourse of ‘dole bludger’ what has that done to yp – eg the tightening of access to unemployment benefits
Then look at the moral panic issue through a different lens, a more critical lens. How might yp be constructed differently, how might the issue be constructed differently and how might the solutions be constructed differently using critical theories eg if you change the discourse around yp and employment what changes in the way the issue is constructed might be possible? Think about social generation theory and the way society is changing and yp are adapting to a more flexible workforce. Draw on structural theories to think about how unemployment and poverty happen and why these issues serve a purpose for the powerful – therefore how can yp be blamed for their own unemployment etc etc
Moral Panic from a Social Media Perspective
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Word Count (1511 Words)
Moral Panic from a Social Media Perspective
‘Moral panic’ as a term came into the limelight in the late ‘60s although there is a significant conviction that Stanley Cohen advanced the popularity of this concept. One justification for this assertion is that the first paragraph in his book Folk Devils and Moral Panics: the Cratio of the Mods and Rocker is among the most cited piece when it comes to this concept (Rowe, 2009). Cohen (2002, p. 1) defines a moral panic as “a condition, episode, person or group of persons” perceived to possess a significant threat to the community’s or society’s interests, safety, and values. News media perpetuate this idea while politicians fuel it and at times results in new policies and laws meant to curb against the growth of the panic. Conclusively, moral panics could be regarded as the societal response when it identifies a deviant group or behavior.
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