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Although the concept of a moral panic has, over the past 30 or so years, achieved something of a classic status, in recent years it has come under sustained criticism.

For some - such as Thompson and Williams (“The Myth of Moral Panics: Sex, Snuff, and Satan”, 2013) -the panic paradigm suffers from fundamental flaws that make it a myth rather than a viable academic perspective” while for others, such as Stuart Waiton, the concept has lost whatever explanatory power it might once have had because it is rooted in a kind of modernist society that no-longer exists.

In this video Waiton outlines the moral panic perspective before introducing a new variation - amoral panics - characteristic, he argues, of late-modern societies where the moral consensus that once sustained moral panics has gradually broken-down, leaving us with an increasing series of public panics that need to be explained in terms of their essentially amoral character.

Moral and Amoral Panics

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The Cannibal on Bus 1170

Rethinking Moral Panics

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