Widening the Focus: Moral Panics as Moral Regulation
Posted: 15 Dec 2008
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.
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