Moral Panic and Social Theory

  title={Moral Panic and Social Theory},
  author={Amanda Rohloff and Sarah Wright},
  journal={Current Sociology},
  pages={403 - 419}
Chas Critcher has recently conceptualized moral panic as a heuristic device, or ‘ideal type’. While he argues that one still has to look beyond the heuristic, despite a few exceptional studies there has been little utilization of recent developments in social theory in order to look ‘beyond moral panic’. Explicating two current critical contributions — the first, drawing from the sociologies of governance and risk; the second, from the process/figurational sociology of Norbert Elias — this… Expand
Moral panic, moral regulation, and the civilizing process.
  • Sean P. Hier
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • The British journal of sociology
  • 2016
Elias's meta-theory of the civilizing process potentially provides explanatory resources to investigate a possible historical-structural shift towards the so-called age of (a)moral panic; the analytical demands of such a project, however, require a sufficiently different line of inquiry than the one encouraged by both the regulatory and decivilizing perspectives on moral panic. Expand
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Examines and evaluates the nature of the critiques directed at moral panic since its inception and the responses to these by Cohen (Folk devils and moral panics, London, Routledge, 2002) and otherExpand
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  • Sean P. Hier
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • The British journal of sociology
  • 2011
The purpose of this article is to tighten the focus of moral panic studies by clarifying and elaborating on an analytical framework that conceptualizes moral panic as a form of moral regulation. TheExpand
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This article breaks the silence on the politically progressive characteristics of a moral panic. In contrast to the tacit scholarly consensus that moral panics entail regressively conservative socialExpand
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This article is a contribution to widening the focus of moral panic studies. Our aim is to advance recent attempts to link moral panic studies to the criminological literature on moral regulation. WeExpand


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This paper explicates a critical theory of moral panic, arguing that there is an affinity to be discerned between the sociology of moral panic and the sociology of moral regulation. It isExpand
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Widening The Focus Moral Panics as Moral Regulation
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First coined by Stanley Cohen in 1972, 'moral panic' is a key term in media studies, used to refer to sudden eruptions of indignant concern about social issues. An occurrence of moral panic isExpand
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Contemporary news events indicate the continuing relevance of moral panic analysis. Of two versions one is British, formulated by Stan Cohen, exemplified by the 1970s emergence of mugging. The secondExpand
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  • S. Ungar
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • The British journal of sociology
  • 2001
It is suggested that as new sites of social anxiety have emerged around environmental, nuclear, chemical and medical threats, the questions motivating moral panic research have lost much of their utility. Expand