Between heat and light: The opportunity in moral panics

Catharine Lumby*, Nina Funnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper argues that contemporary moral panic theorists are often too narrowly focused on either refining the sociological framings of moral panic theory or, alternatively, on applying that theory to case studies without asking how the theory might be used to frame strategic interventions into public debate and policy. It examines the way that conservative politicians and media commentators have appropriated the accusation that they are fuelling moral panic as proof that they are actively engaged in a fight for morality. It contends that moral panic theorists need to use their knowledge of how moral panics work in order to engage in strategic interventions into public debate and policy. It concludes with a call for scholars working on specific issues in the field to apply their research and redouble their efforts to ensure that evidence-based research is heard and understood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-291
Number of pages15
JournalCrime, Media, Culture
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

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