Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Assess Sociological Explanations of the Role of the Mass Media in Creating Moral Panics About Crime and Deviance. (21) Essay

928 WordsFeb 4, 20154 Pages
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of the role of the mass media in creating moral panics about crime and deviance. (21) A moral panic is an outrage that is stirred up by the media about a particular group or issue. The role of the mass media is to communicate to a large audience, whether it be written or spoken, though the radio, television, newspapers or the internet; as item A states the news media are one of our main sources of knowledge about crime and deviance. Often the media will create a moral panic surrounding crimes and criminals or deviants. Cohen’s explanation of folk devils and moral panics is highly relevant to understand the role of the mass media in creating moral panics about crime and deviance. Cohen believes that the media plays a crucial role in the social construction of crime and deviance. Due to a lack of stories, the media made ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’ into folk devils, folk devils are groups of people who are associated with moral panics. The media made people categorise themselves into one of the two groups, this helped in creating the violence between the two groups, consequently meaning that both the ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’ were labelled as ‘troublemakers’ by the public. Item A expresses that moral panics can lead to a range or responses by the public, by agents of social control and by the criminals or deviants themselves. The result in the intervention of the mass media created a negative association against the two groups and an unneeded moral panic for the public on crime that, before the mass media created a moral panic, were nothing to worry about. Although the theory does well at explaining the effects of the mass media, it doesn’t explain why and how they create moral panics; despite this, the theory understands the consequences of moral panics. Therefore Cohen is the best to explain how
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