I panic about a whole range of things. I guess you could say I’m a ‘panicker’ (not a word but it felt right). I panic about having to drive to new places. I panic about parking (especially at uni). I panic about whether or not I’m going to panic. So when I read the topic for this week was ‘Moral Panic’, I thought yes! I’ll totally understand this!
And then I panicked I wouldn’t understand this…
In all seriousness, ‘moral panic’ is a concept or theory that depicts an idea about societies. This ‘moral panic’ begins with a group of persons who emerge as a ‘threat’ to societal values and interests. The mass media portrays this group in a stylized and stereotypical manner, while the moral barricades are started usually by right thinking individuals.
An example of a ‘moral panic’ throughout time could even be the youth of the time. Specifically the Millennials in this current time.
We are constantly worrying about Millennials and their rudeness, their disrespect for older generations and their entitlement. And a majority of the times they are portrayed in the media, its is done so in a negative way and in a stereotypical manner.
This video for example depicts millennials obsession with social media and external gratification. Despite this fear behind technology, the media seems to always portray it in a way of the moral panic with millennials. How they are the ones with this awful obsession and idea of technology, just because they grew up with it and actually know how to use it.
This article however in a way depicts both sides the argument, stating we need to stop this moral panic about millennials and why.
Another example of a group at the centre of a ‘moral panic’, and perhaps a more historical example, are the Salem Witch Trials. This is the a perfect example of a moral panic and the implications of one. Women were accused of witchcraft due to ‘crazy’ or ‘hysterical’ behavior or targeted towards women who were social outcasts. This ‘moral panic’ reinforced and strengthened the authority of religious leaders, as witchcraft was seen as a direct threat to to Christian values.
This concept of ‘moral panic’ is not a new ideal, and I don’t believe it will be one ending anytime soon either. There are always people who break social norms and they are always feared by others incapable of breaking the norms themselves.
Now excuse me while I go panic about this blog being wrong.