Moral Panic: Its Origins in Resistance, Ressentiment and the Translation of Fantasy into Reality
Posted: 15 Dec 2008
Date Written: January 2009
This paper addresses: the origins of moral panic in the New Deviancy Theory of the 1960s, particularly in the work of Albert Cohen and his notion of moral indignation which is rooted in the Nietzschian concept of Ressentiment; the emergence of the concept in the tumult of 1968 and in the intellectual context of the National Deviancy Conference; the key attributes of moral panic as arising out of fundamental changes in social structure and culture; and issues of moral disturbance because of conflicts in values. It concludes with a critique of recent uses of the concept and a reformulation of the notions of moral disturbance, disproportionality, displacement and volatility.
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