The rise of mobile and social media means that everyday crime news is now more immediate, more visual, and more democratically produced than ever. Offering new and innovative ways of understanding the relationship between media and crime, Media and Crime in the U.S. critically examines the influence of media coverage of crimes on culture and identity in the United States and across the globe. With comprehensive coverage of the theories, research, and key issues, acclaimed author Yvonne Jewkes and award-winning professor Travis Linnemann have come together to shed light on some of the most troubling questions surrounding media and crime today. The free open-access Student Study site at features web quizzes, web resources, and more. Instructors, sign in at for additional resources!

Media and Moral Panics

Media and Moral Panics

Media and Moral Panics


Chapter 3 provides:

  • An overview of the well-known but often misinterpreted and misrepresented concept of “moral panics.”
  • An analysis of the pros and cons of the moral panic model as a conceptual tool for understanding public responses to mediated crime and deviance.
  • An examination of the five defining features that identify moral panics as they have traditionally been conceived.
  • A discussion of “deviancy amplification” and the extent to which attempts by authorities to control deviant behavior actually lead to its increase.
  • A brief exploration of the status of pedophilia as a moral panic.

Key Terms

  • consensus 85
  • demonization 86
  • deviancy amplification spiral 85
  • labeling 80
  • mega-cases 80
  • moral majority 94
  • moral panic 80
  • risk 87
  • signal crime 80
  • social reaction 85
  • stigmatizing 91
  • subculture 81
  • youth 88

“Moral panic” is a familiar term in academic studies ...

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