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Moral Panics: Then and Now

Stanley Cohen coined the phrase 'moral panics' 35 years ago. Today, Google lists 267, 000 references. Cohen's account of the structure of moral panics has been put to use for a generation now, in studies of popular media and in accounts of apparently irrational public anxieties. Professor Cohen addressed debates about moral panics in the social sciences. Stuart Hall, who pioneered modern studies of the mass media, reflected on how the term 'moral panics' was taken up and developed in Cultural Studies. The distinguished criminologist David Garland discussed the ways in which moral panics influence crime policies and, more generally, serve as an instrument of social control.

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