Print this page Share

Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-4443-0793-1
320 pages
January 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance, 2nd Edition (1444307932) cover image


Packed with new examples and material, this second edition provides a fully up-to-date exploration of the genesis, dynamics, and demise of moral panics and their impacts on the societies in which they take place.
  • Packed with updated and recent examples including terrorism, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Towers, school shootings, flag burning, and the early-2000s resurgence of the “sex slave” scare
  • Includes a new chapter on the media, currently regarded as a major component of the moral panic
  • Devotes a chapter to addressing criticisms of the first edition as well as the moral panics concept itself
  • Written by long-established experts in the field
  • Designed to fit both self-contained courses on moral panics and wider courses on deviance
See More

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements viii

Prologue 1

1 Enter the Moral Panic 20

2 The Moral Panic: An Introduction 34

3 Three Theories of the Moral Panic 51

4 The Moral Panic Meets Its Critics 73

5 The Media Ignite and Embody the Moral Panic 88

6 Deviance, Morality, and Criminal Law 109

7 Collective Behavior 129

8 Social Movements 141

9 Social Problems 150

10 The Renaissance Witch Craze 168

11 Drug Abuse Panics 197

12 The Feminist Anti-Pornography Crusade 218

Epilogue: The Demise and Institutionalization of the Moral Panic 245

References 251

Author Index 270

Subject Index 275

See More

Author Information

Erich Goode is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His previous books include The Marijuana Smokers (1970), Collective Behavior (1992), Deviance in Everyday Life (2002), Extreme Deviance (edited with Angus Vail, 2008), Drugs in American Society (7th edition, 2008), and Deviant Behavior (8th edition, 2008).

Nachman Ben-Yehuda is Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His publications include Deviance and Moral Boundaries (1985), The Politics and Morality of Deviance (1990), Political Assassinations by Jews: A Rhetorical Device for Justice (1993), The Masada Myth (1995), Betrayals and Treason (2001), and Selective Remembrances (edited with Philip Kohl and Mara Kozelsky, 2007).

See More


"This close reading of the facts behind a media story are the essence of Goode and Ben-Yehuda's work. They have taken the time and trouble to try and see what is a moral panic and what is true." (Metapsychology, March 2010)

"In a thoroughly updated new edition of their very valuable book, Goode and Ben-Yehuda demonstrate the wide gulf that so often separates the real menaces facing our society from the disproportionate waves of public fear and concern that regularly surface in the mass media. Their book - intelligently written, wide-ranging and provocative - shows us once again that knowing what a society fears is essential to understanding its core values, and its highest aspirations."
Philip Jenkins, Pennsylvania State University

"Moral Panics is more than a classic text in social theory. In this newly updated and enlarged edition, it is an indispensable text for every twenty-first century scholar interested in the social construction and diffusion of fear."
Barry Glassner, author of The Culture of Fear

"Moral panics remains one of the most hotly-debated sociological ideas to have entered the public sphere, so an up-dated version of Goode and Ben-Yehuda’s pathbreaking work on this subject is very welcome. The new version is even more enlightening than its predecessor."
Kenneth Thompson, Open University

See More

Related Titles

Back to Top