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Moral panics by design: The case of terrorism

Moral panics by design: The case of terrorism This article assesses the relationship between terrorism and moral panics to expand understandings of the latter’s eruption and orchestration. Answering calls for deeper considerations of folk devils’ agentic properties, it interrogates how terrorist methods – the deployment of shocking and exceptional violence to incite fear and stimulate political change – challenge extant understandings of the moral panic framework. Specifically, it argues, in the case of terrorism, that the exaggerated threats and disproportionate responses that define moral panics are not driven solely by moral entrepreneurs or social control agents, but are informed by the strategic practices and rationalities of folk devils themselves. Through its approach, this research enhances social-scientific treatments of terrorism, broadens the scope of moral panic analysis, and extends understandings of how fear and anxiety are manipulated for political purposes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Sociology SAGE

Moral panics by design: The case of terrorism

Current Sociology , Volume 65 (5): 20 – Sep 1, 2017

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References (69)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2016
ISSN
0011-3921
eISSN
1461-7064
DOI
10.1177/0011392116633257
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article assesses the relationship between terrorism and moral panics to expand understandings of the latter’s eruption and orchestration. Answering calls for deeper considerations of folk devils’ agentic properties, it interrogates how terrorist methods – the deployment of shocking and exceptional violence to incite fear and stimulate political change – challenge extant understandings of the moral panic framework. Specifically, it argues, in the case of terrorism, that the exaggerated threats and disproportionate responses that define moral panics are not driven solely by moral entrepreneurs or social control agents, but are informed by the strategic practices and rationalities of folk devils themselves. Through its approach, this research enhances social-scientific treatments of terrorism, broadens the scope of moral panic analysis, and extends understandings of how fear and anxiety are manipulated for political purposes.

Journal

Current SociologySAGE

Published: Sep 1, 2017

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