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Revisiting Moral Panics$
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Viviene E Cree, Viviene E. Cree, Gary Clapton, and Mark Smith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447321859

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447321859.001.0001

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(p.197) Introduction
Revisiting Moral Panics

Mark Smith

Policy Press

Part Four begins with a dedication to Jock Young and a commentary about his work. Part Four’s chapters bring together what might appear to be rather disparate subject matter. Some common themes emerge, however, to provide compelling illustrations of many of the elements of Jock Young’s thesis which is that when societies are in crisis, personal and social unease are displaced onto a scapegoat; scapegoated groups are not chosen by accident, but are closely related to the source of anxiety. Perhaps, the most obvious message in this final Part is that moral panics are likely to erupt around issues of profound moral importance (but also where there is a perceived threat), such as life and death, good and evil, sex (especially when linked with children), the body and an existential threat to cherished beliefs and institutions.

Keywords:   Jock Young, societal crises, scapegoats, morals

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