1st Edition

Moral Panic and the Politics of Anxiety

Edited By SEAN HIER Copyright 2011
    264 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Moral Panic and the Politics of Anxiety is a collection of original essays written by some of the world’s leading social scientists. It seeks to provide unique insight into the importance of moral panic as a routine feature of everyday life, whilst also developing an integrated framework for moral panic research by widening the scope of scholarship in the area.

    Many of the key twenty-first century contributions to moral panic theory have moved beyond the parameters of the sociology of deviance to consider the importance of moral panic for identity formation, national security, industrial risk, and character formation. Reflecting this growth, the book brings together recognized moral panic researchers with prominent scholars in moral regulation, social problems, cultural fear, and health risks, allowing for a more careful and critical discussion around the cultural and political significance of moral panic to emerge.

    This book will prove valuable reading for both undergraduate and postgraduate students on courses such as politics and the media, regulatory policy, the body and identity, theory and political sociology, and sociology of culture.

    Foreword by Kenneth Thompson  1. Introduction: Bringing Moral Panic Studies into Focus by Sean P. Hier  Part 1: Conceptualizing Moral Panic Studies  Section Introduction by Sean P. Hier  2. Grounding and Defending the Sociology of Moral Panic by Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda  3. Locating Moral Panics within the Sociology of Social Problems by Joel Best  4. Fractious Rivals? Moral Panics and Moral Regulation by Alan Hunt  5. Shifting the Focus? Moral Panics as Civilizing and Decivilizing Processes by Amanda Rohloff  Part 2: Examining Moral Panic Studies  Section Introduction by Sean P. Hier  6. The Objectification of Fear and the Grammar of Morality by Frank Furedi  7. How Emotions Matter to Moral Panic by Kevin Walby and Dale Spencer  8. Folk Devils Reconsidered by Mary deYoung  9. The Duality of the Devil: Realism, Relationalism, and Representation by James Meades  Part 3: Applying Moral Panic Studies  Section Introduction by Sean P. Hier  10. Panic, Regulation, and the Moralization of British Law and Order Politics by Dan Lett, Sean P. Hier, Kevin Walby, and Andre Smith  11. Drunken Antics: The Gin Craze, Binge Drinking, and the Political Economy of Moral Regulation by Chas Critcher  12. The Artful Creation of a Global Moral Panic: Climatic Folk Devils, Environmental Evangelicals, and the Coming Catastrophie by Sheldon Ungar  13. When Harm is Done: Panic, Scandal, and Blame by Graham Knight and Juliet Roper  14. The Unhealthy Risk Society: Health Scares and the Politics of Moral Panic by Daniel Beland


    Sean Hier is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He has authored several articles on moral panic, and he is recognized for his efforts to link moral panic to moral regulation/social problems.

    'Overall, the essays provide unique perspectives on the importance of [moral panic studies], and many of the essays discuss and develop an integrated framework for understanding the importance of moral panics. A major strength is that most of the essays move beyond the sociology of deviance, viewing moral panics in terms of identity formation, industrial risk, character formation, and national security.'

    'Advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in politics, media, social theory, political sociology, and the sociology of culture will find this collection timely and enlightening. Summing Up: Highly recommended.'
    -P. J. Venturelli, Valparaiso University, in Choice March 2012