Moral Panic Neutralization Project: A media based intervention

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Veno, Arthur and van den Eynde, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-6607-3462 (2007) Moral Panic Neutralization Project: A media based intervention. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 17 (6). pp. 490-506. ISSN 1052-9284


Moral panics are a major technique used by government in the politics of fear. The central research question addressed was ‘can moral panic be neutralized?’ Researchers formed a coalition with folk devils (an outlaw motorcycle club) in an emerging moral panic to answer the research question. The contest for public support was played out in the media. Results of the action research process are reported using ‘thick narrative’ and included: (1) government calling off its moral panic campaign, (2) a large decrease in public support for the government’s campaign against outlaw motorcycle clubs (OMCs), (3) increased acceptance of OMCs in public opinion polls and (4) dramatic reversals in newspaper editorials. The case study illustrates actors in moral panics have agency and provides an example of a macro-level intervention through which liberation from oppression was affected.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1002/casp.944
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1605 Policy and Administration
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID16801, fear politics, oppression, outlaw motorcycle clubs
Citations in Scopus 10 - View on Scopus
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