Widening the Focus: Moral Panics as Moral Regulation

Posted: 15 Dec 2008

See all articles by Chas Critcher

Chas Critcher

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 2009


Moral panic analysis needs reconnecting to mainstream sociological theory. A potential connection is via moral regulation. The origins and development of moral regulation, and its application to moral panics, are traced through the work of Corrigan and Sayer, Hunt and Hier. While it appears highly beneficial to locate moral panics as an extreme form of more routine processes of moral regulation, better specification is required of the scope of moral regulation and its boundary with moral panics. Three dimensions of discursive construction are identified for differentiating between issues of moral regulation: as threats to the moral order, as being amenable to social control measures, and as involving ethical self-regulation. Clarity is also needed about the political project of moral regulation analysis.

Suggested Citation

Critcher, Chas, Widening the Focus: Moral Panics as Moral Regulation (January 2009). The British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 49, Issue 1, pp. 17-34, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1315133 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azn040

Chas Critcher (Contact Author)

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