Using data obtained from an ethnographic content analysis of a selection of newspapers, interest group statements, and Oireachtas debates, I demonstrate that the social response to the statutory rape crisis exhibits the key indicators of the moral panic phenomenon put forward by Goode and Ben-Yehuda.
I employ the theory of moral panic to explain why the events of the statutory rape crisis ignited such emotion and why Mr A became a folk devil of the moral panic
The last article in this collection investigates, using expert interviews, if there is enough evidence to support the claim that methamphetamine may be a menace to New Zealand society, but that the extent of that menace may be exaggerated by a moral panic brought on by our media and fuelled by our police force.
By including a foreign case study we can begin to see how the New Zealand methamphetamine situation had similarities to the American example, making identification of New Zealand's moral panic more definitive.
Two previous moral panics about methamphetamine are featured in this collection as part of a case study presented in "Ancient Anecdotes meet Modernity: Drugs and the Rise of Methamphetamine" in which between the years of 1989 and 1996 America passed through two moral panics brought on to a considerable extent by a mixture of media hype and political opportunism.
The British criminologist Yvonne Jewkes has also raised issue with the term 'morality' and how it is accepted unproblematically in 'moral panics'. Jewkes goes on to argue that the thesis and the way it has been used fails to distinguish between crimes that quite rightly offend human morality, and thus elicit a justifiable reaction, and those that demonise minorities. The public are not sufficiently gullible to keep accepting the latter and allowing themselves to be manipulated by the media and the government.
(2006)Amoral panic: the construction of 'antisocial behaviour' and the institutionalisation of vulnerability. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
This thesis is an investigation of the media's representation of children and ICT. The study draws on moral panic theory and Queensland newspaper media, to identify the impact of newspaper reporting on the public's perceptions of young people and ICT.
Also as part of the backgrounding for this collection it was of critical importance to find whether a moral panic happened anywhere else in the world in relation to methamphetamine.