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NCJ Number: 159495 Find in a Library
Title: Mugging as a Moral Panic: A Question of Proportion (From The Sociology of Crime and Deviance: Selected Issues, P 235-247, 1995, Susan Caffrey and Gary Mundy, eds. -- See NCJ-159484)
Author(s): P Waddington
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwich University Press
Kent, DA1 1PF, England
Sale Source: Greenwich University Press
Unit 42, Dartford Trade Park
Hawley Road
Kent, DA1 1PF,
United Kingdom
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Hall et al's, (1978) claim that official and public concern about mugging in Great Britain during the early 1970's was a "moral panic" seriously flawed.
Abstract: The notion of moral panics is used by criminologists to explain public anxiety about, and official reaction to, increases in the reported rate of specific offenses. To describe an expression of public and official anxiety as a moral panic suggests that the scale of this response is disproportionately greater than the scale of the problem. In attributing official and public concern about mugging during the early 1970's in Great Britain as a "moral panic," Hall et al made two basic errors. First, their analysis of official statistics to show that the crime problem was not "dramatically worse" confuses rates of change with increments of change, thus producing a misleading portrait. In fact, the evidence supports the opposite conclusion. Second, the lack of any criteria of proportionality allows no distinction to be drawn between a "sober, realistic appraisal" of a problem and a "moral panic." The difficulties posed by the absence of such criteria are explored in relation to the problem of racial attacks. 4 figures and 15 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Fear of crime; Media coverage; Mugging
Note: From The British Journal of Sociology, V 37, N 2 (June 1986), P 245-259.
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