Posted by nechakogal on May 22, 2012 · Comments Off
Cohen (1972) used the term ‘moral panic’ in Folk Devils and Moral Panics to characterize the “…focused social reaction to behaviour which is labelled as disruptive or potentially disruptive of ‘order’, ‘normality’, and ‘social health’”(Rojek, Peacock & Collins, 1988, p. 149). Once moral panic is engaged it effectively abolishes effective discourse by vilifying groups. Moral panics against social work have been most severely focused on child protective services, however, Rojek et al., tell us that moral panics in the media have also been used successfully by the so-called New Right to undermine social work in two main ways. First, social work is attacked for being inefficient and technical failures/weaknesses. Second social work is framed as being too caring and for creating a culture of dependency.
Moral panic in the media is also a popular mechanism used to sway public opinion and to aid in clamping down on dissent, as has been in evidence in Montreal where the municipality and province have tried to quell protest by enacting laws which contravene usual liberties in a democracy. This approach is encouraged in this article where Quebec students and Greeks opposing austerity measures are grouped and welfare state policies in democracies are blamed for creating “entitlements” or below, where the writer appears to suggest student bodies share commonalities with the IRA.
Power is sweet nectar, is it not? So good luck to Premier Jean Charest, as he tries to put this genie back in the bottle. Thousands of young people in Quebec have now tasted the forbidden, intoxicating bliss of running with a mob. And the student movement, CLASSE and its member organizations, have gotten a taste of the real influence (which would be familiar to any Irishman of a certain age) that accrues to legitimate political groups that tolerate violent outriders on their fringe, kept barely in check and officially beyond their control
More on moral panic from the web.