Essay on Sociology and Hall Et Al.

Words: 1148
Pages: 5

Stanley Cohen uses the term ‘moral panic’ to describe the identification of groups of people that are deemed to threaten our whole way of life and from whom society must be protected’. (Kelly & Toynbee P363) He defines the term as a sporadic episode which, when it happens, causes people to worry about the values and principles held by society that may be in jeopardy. This quite often led to a nostalgic view that the past had been a more harmonious time of life without such disorder and that the youth certainly behaved, on the whole, better in days gone by.

Throughout each era of sporadic moral panic in terms of the youth threatening social order, there has emerged groups that have fit the criteria and Cohen concerns himself primarily
…show more content…
differ in some of the reasons and origins of their depiction. According to Cohen, the media are responsible for the panic caused following a one off event or episode of disorder with how they expose the details. The portrayal of the folk devils as groups that society should fear are irrational fears made by the media. They are portrayed as inheritantly evil as opposed to living in the real world and acting as a result of something. They are portrayed as the people we should be scared of and not as a result of what was really happening.
In contrast, Hall et al. believes that the media take their lead from the government and are more directed from power and insitutions. He believes the government are trying to steer attention away from the inequalities within society when it comes to the power and assets of the rich in comparison to the poor and so centred the attention on crime and the emersion of terms associated with this, such as ‘mugger’. Hall suggests that this media construction has its roots in social conflict.
So although they recognise the media helped make public perception the way it was, hall says government ignoring the real reasons and cracking down on crime. Cohen says media say they are just bad.

Cohen emphasises the moral panics that are brought about by the term folk devils and how its down to the indidual or groups of people as opposed the society or surroundings they may have been brought up in. He recognises