What are the reasons of moral panic according to Stanley Cohen?
Theorist Stanley Cohen suggested in his book, Folk Devils and Moral Panics, that a moral panic occurs within society when an episode from an individual or group rise to become a threat to the societal values that eventually will jeopardize the moral standing within the community. According to Cohen, the media play a massive role which enforces moral panic within the community, even if they are only presenting the news. Also, he often refers to the media overreacting to an aspect or part of the behavior which may challenge the existing norms and values that are within society. This behavior can be seen as a representation of the ways it is communicated and adopted by the outsiders and observers. Therefore, the media adds fuel to the fire within society to induce moral panic about socially unacceptable behavior. Also, this essay will explore Cohen’s theory of moral panics and how this helps us understand the constructions of domestic abuse.
Stanley Cohen has highlighted that mass hysteria over a particular issue or event that occurs sends moral panic and show waves throughout the community to which the public believe that whatever is portrayed and reported within the media is happening elsewhere in the country. An example of modern day observation of moral panic that was perceived to be a threat to social order was the London riots that occurred in 2011 to which cause mass wide panic and chaos to the threat of riots in the large cities. As a result of the media’s harsh reporting and focus on the negative representation, it is now believed that all young people are to mug them or even vandalize things within the community. The process of deviance amplification from Cohen’s qualitative research creates the insight of provocative media reports and negative public opinion to which can lead to the public exclusion that can lead to sub-cultural identities.