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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135641 Find in a Library
Title: Newspapers and the Antisatanism Movement: A Content Analysis
Journal: Sociological Spectrum  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(January-March 1992)  Pages:1-20
Author(s): B M Crouch; K R Damphousse
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 20
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A sample of 359 articles from 8 major national newspapers was analyzed to examine the pattern of occult and Satanism coverage during the period 1980-1989 and to determine whether the newspapers fostered the current anti-Satanism movement or whether they just reported local occult events. The stories covered Satanism, witchcraft, voodoo, Santeria, and Palo Mayombe as well as miscellaneous occult topics.
Abstract: The findings showed that the newspapers in this study cast Satanism more negatively than witchcraft, because the former often involved criminality and culturally unacceptable rituals. The analysis showed that noncrime accounts of Satanism were also usually presented negatively. The data indicated that newspapers did not seem to be moral entrepreneurs, but essentially played a reflective role in the emergence of a perceived Satanic threat. However, newspapers did promote certain perceptions of Satanism by printing high-profile Satanism-related homicide cases, including those that occurred in other regions of the country, and by offering a forum for experts on the occult, most of whom were religiously motivated law enforcement officers. 3 figures and 57 references
Main Term(s): Cults; Media coverage
Index Term(s): Public Attitudes/Opinion
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