Study Questions

1. In your view, how convincing is the “moral panic” thesis in explaining media reporting of, and public responses to, minority and/or deviant groups?

2. Moral panics have traditionally been directed at male, working-class subcultures, and girls and women have been viewed as peripheral to the action. Can you think of any examples where girls or young women have been the recipients of moral outrage? How successful or otherwise has criminological theory been in offering explanations for female subcultural crime?

3. What recent examples of criminal or deviant behavior can you think of that might be described as “moral panics”? What is the primary source of the labeling of “demons” in your chosen cases?

4. What kinds of crime are not the subjects of moral panics, and what effect does this have on public perceptions of crime?