Friday, 15 May 2009

Henry Jenkins on moral panics

'Moral panic' is a phrase I overuse and usually collocate with 'new technolgies' - e.g. "new moral panic over social networking sites; top psychologist claims Facebook and Twitter cause harm to small puppies". Here's an old blog post with a real example.

I did 'A' level sociology too long ago to remember full definition of moral panic - something about new behaviours being perceived as threat to existing ways of doing things.

There's a really good Henry Jenkins video on young people, violence and new media which has the following (brilliant) definition:
"moral panic is where you stop asking questions and start assuming you know the answers"


Leo Havemann said...

Tony, I was writing a
blog post
about the media storm surrounding Twitter and kept being tempted towards this exact phrase - especially when the Daily Mail 'broke' a story about how Twitter makes us immoral!

Tony McNeill said...

Yes, it's hard to avoid the phrase when writing about media misrepresentations of social media. I wonder How many more we'll have over the next few months?

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