criminology. Jock Young moral panic and thhe sociological imagination


brunel university

he worked with stan cohen

they talked about how satirically they could invent more panics with good press releases as an experiment to learn about mechanism

pole squatting

no one knows that is under the age of 40.

the daily panic newspaper. clear guide to moral panics

great resource for sociologists

keith richards said – ”there is something inside me that just wants to excite that thing in other people. that demon in me. skulls flow in by the truckload. folks out there created this folk hero. they wish me to do things that they cannot. inside of them is a raging keith richards. they have written the script for you and you have got to do it. I am an outlaw. ”

k Richards was in a moral panic


mick jagger busted

othering of marianne faithful

negated in autobiography

andrew golden said you could ride on back of moral panic – no need to dress rolling stones up in suits and page boy hairstyles like epstein did with beatles

rolling stones did the opposite

1968 world seemed to turn upside down

vast tumult in universities and among trades union had intellectually fantastic repercussions not so much among politics

sociology of deviance

formulaitons of moral panics arise from moral disturbance

s rooted in structure and value changes

tectonic plates moving

not random

people chose to panic about. they were trigger points . moral panics are cultural conflict

indignation – outrage and energy

not just kids fighting

kids enjoying fighting. police like beating thme up. media think it is wonderful . joe citizen is horrified in a delight way

theatrical. all accomplices

people like getting up people noses. magistrates like saying sawdust caesars

there is a notion that moral panic that this is listless mass media delusion and deceptipn

rationale cjoice gone wrong

random displacmenet of of grievance

moral panic theory is re interpreted

neo liberal tendency these days in relation to moral panics – if you could just supply right info then all would be ok

people want to be misled

1968, – first meeting of national deviancy conference

he never wanted a full time job.

he thought people who worked had a neurosis

you could do a 2 day week. hit him as a v good idea

he went to conference.

his paper

”the role of the police as amplifiers of deviance , negotiators of reality and  inventors fantasisers of”

moral panic about drugs

eric good – drugs ALWAYS good subject for moral panics

ethnographic study of drug use in notting hill

he lived with 2 dealers and a junkie and a burglar on the run. sat watching telly dripping acid into his eye

could not have got past an ethics committee

write about what you know

notting hill was bohemian

jimi hendrix lived there. pink floyd played at the parish hall

he was in the midst of it. amount of complete hatred towards drug users – cannabis smokers

v interested in people being bust took time to talk about. saw the police as the pigs. but liked the conflict


youth culture created moral condemnation

phil cohen = 3 cohens. al , phil and stan]]

Phil Cohen is often forgotten but influenced centre for contemporary cultural studies

famous passgae from the people 21 sept 1965

” This is the sordid truth. drug taking couples making love while others look on. Ruled by mobs with iron bars.  that is the scene insider the hippies fortress inside piccadilly.  These are not rumours but facts. Facts that will shock family loving people.”

144 picadilly was occupied.

London street commune occupation. headed by Dr John who was Phil Cohen. said to press his father was a surgeon. he was in the British Museum and leading up on Gramsci

nice historical thing

research came up with moral panic was not against drugs but against the people using them and why they used them

our brave soldier use amphetamines – yet those who use them in clubs are seen as evil

moral panic rooted in massive changes in value – relations in production and consumption

shift moving from discipline, deferred gratification,

anti social to saVE AGAainst the economy

does not matter if you cannot afford it. impulsive world. hedonism

centre of values. associated with move into neo liberalism


indignation of the public

attraction and repulsion

David Matts on sociology of deviance

.subterranean values – he argued you have to understand why people want to neutralise things. people are attractd to things we pretend to abhor. we say we hate violence but it is the centre of entertainment. video games

violence is centre of economy. 46% of tax is spent on military

military keynsianism – attraction of violence

mass media carry narratives that titilate

editor of the sun and then editor of murdoch’s paper in new york

his job was to think how he can wind up the middle class?

show soeone appealing and then show someone cheating . your world is uncertain, you make sacrifice – other give you a reason for moral indignation

interesting affect

false images of people can be self fulfilling’ liberals say real problem is relationship to deviant is misperception

more complex

system created people like its image

conjured false devils and then made real ones

made the argument too difficult. but time you put people through prison you make psychopaths who are brutalised

conservatives say they psychos have always been like that

deviancy amplification. fantasy can become real


intellectual roots. new deviancy. two strands. sub cultural theory

sub culture – give people meaning whereas orthodox criminology takes meaning away

a lack of socialisation

sociological imagination

we gave meaning back to people. people take drugs to solve problems in their lives

you have to understand juvenile delinquency – you need to read the narrative


up to now we thought trouble was them out there. with drug busts and police action and vietnam

trouble was them.

who pushed over the police horse? Which mindless beast has horses charging demonstrators

up to that point we were looking out of police cars then we looked into them

we looked for symmetry – deviance and the reaction thereto

look at narrative of moral panic

the police and the media do not exist in a different epistemological universe

sociologist is the person with his palm up to the upper classes and eyes down to the lower classes

man in a tweed suit

moral panic theory became other side

sub cultural theory.

deviance came from USA

all zapped up a bit . more energy. situation where

criminological imagination

level that american sociology was chilled by maccarthysim – it did not just occur in movie business

1955 a third of all sociologists had been interviewed more than 3 times

harvard and columbia suspected of being communist cells

during this period of american deviance theory it was micro level.

small piece of the stage no background

c wright mills – went against the trend/ deviancy theory from US got put in wider context in the UK

more sympathy and resistance – not seen as a anti social

not just passive people determined by outside people

officer krusky in west side story

psych dymanics behind this. might be of interest. moral panics

relates to moral indignation

al panics – ”what affect does the activities of the wicked have on the  the peace of mind of the virtuous.”

theory of othering – affirming yourself.


moral indignation – moral panic. petit bourgeois and Nazism

merton was left wing then changed after maccarthy

people live in a world legitimated in terms of a meritocracy and america dream

individual failure feeling – not ojn that others are getting away with things

creates resentment

USA is remarkable. high commitment to meritocracy presidential candidates talk all the time about american dream pictures of obama and hope – but v levels of social mobility

Merton 1938 article – legitimation crisis. these societies are legitimates by precisely he values that the class structures undermines

problem of koshering – moral panic theory makes this hard

fantastic reality

fantasies that people have of others are often fulfilled later

argument is hard – you cannot simply say everyone is nice in the ghetto or do not say ghetto

brutalisaiton. poverty in urban areas.

jesse jackson said he was afraid of black men.

proportionality – lack of this is at heart of moral panic

major argument on drugs that by making them illegal you give them to criminals they get adulterated. nobody knows what strength they are. dirty needles

last thing about irrationality – moral panics work because they hit the sore spot

mods made english people sitting on beaches  with handkerchiefs on their head because it hit something

mods adapted to hedonism and consumerism

hotels now used for student accommodation. people worried about mods and rockers moved to spain

moral panics why they get off the ground and keep repeating

they touch on change in values and social structure – movement into neo liberalism

getting tectonic plates changing

de legitimation  in attitudes towards banking system

situation where cracks begin to show

extraordinary othering of young people especially if poor – chavs, teenage pregnancy

this has not changed at all but middle class pregnancy later has changed middle class have chidlren later

people who have not change are pathologised

career structure – family could live on 1.0 labour now they need 2.0 labour – we do not argue about that but demonise those who have children young as they always did

boys are seen as anti social if working class

us middle class hit hard by financial crisis – retirement money hit

the fees they pay are up

social status under threat

fear of falling back into working class. obsession with the right school

upper middle class pay 100 K a year in education


lay offs. no promotion

. feelings of resentment towards upper and lower class

tea party muddled up for big government which is pro corporation

formula for moral panic – xenophobia

in moral panics one can look at part of ammunition of social control

see the febrile heartland of capitalism















About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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