• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Moral panics – video nasties

Extracts from this document...


MORAL PANICS ESSAY - VIDEO NASTIES The term 'moral panic' suggests a dramatic and rapid overreaction to forms of deviance or wrongdoing believed to be a direct threat to society. The most common definition of a moral panic is the opening paragraph of 'Folk Devils and Moral Panics' by Stanley Cohen: Societies appear to be subject, every now and then, to periods of moral panic. (1) A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; (2) its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; (3) the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people; (4) socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; (5) ways of coping are evolved or (more often) resorted to; (6) the condition then disappears, submerges or deteriorates and becomes more visible. Sometimes the object of panic is quite novel and at other times it is something which has been in existence long enough, but suddenly appears in the limelight. Sometimes the panic passes over and is forgotten, except in folk lore and collective memory; at other times it has more serious and long-lasting repercussions and might produce such changes as those in legal and social policy or even in the way the society conceives itself. ...read more.


The first such panic occurred between 1982-1984 during the influx of video cassette recorders (VCR), one-third of households owned or rented a VCR. Coincidentally, Hollywood produced a crop of gruesome horror films which prompted many complaints, due to the extreme violence of such films, including sadism, mutilation and cannibalism. Laws were set up to prevent children from renting or buying 18 certificate films, and The Daily Mail's 'Ban The Sadist Videos' campaign was set up. During the course of this first 'video nasty' moral panic, the term 'video nasty' was unmistakably synonymous simply with horror films and by 1984 the Video Recordings Act had been set up and became law. During the Bulger trial the press used emotive language to create a moral panic about the influences of video nasties. The press wanted to blame the moral decline on liberal permissiveness, the collapse of family life and the failings of schools, but the real culprit in the Bulger case was the arguments about the effects of the media. Every newspaper focused in detail on the alleged influence of 'video nasties'. The Sun declared that "An x-rated video may have sown the seeds of murder in the mind of one of James Bulger's killers" and the Daily Mirror ran the headline "Judge Blames Violent Videos". 'Child's Play 3', a film about a doll which comes to life and commits a series of murders, had been rented by one of the parents of one of the boys shortly before the murder. ...read more.


The press, using sensational media scaremongering, as they do to sell more papers, focused entirely on how violent films and in particular 'Child's Play 3' incited the two boys to commit murder. Describing the film using words such as "sick" and "evil", and even drawing parallels between the killings in the film and how James Bulger was murdered, of which none were proved in court. Moral panics tap into the public's fears for their safety and the safety of their society around them. In many instances the press coverage of such events doesn't help in alleviating the public's fears, more often than not the press heighten these fears. They do this through sensationalism reporting. As tragic as it was that a young toddler was killed it allowed the people who hold power in this country to enforce their ideas and rules - more CCTV cameras were installed in the country because of how essential they were in identifying James' murderers. Many panics result in official change and have long-lasting repercussions, as was the case of the video nasties moral panic. The Video Recording Act 1984 was set up introducing the regulations of videos through the British Board of Film Classification. The debates upon the lack of parental control in monitoring children's viewing and the dangers of young children watching films intended for a mature audience led to further regulations in 1994. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Internet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Internet essays

  1. Does the exposure to violence in the media cause increased levels of aggression and ...

    They use gaming as a form of escapism from a stressful week. People under the classified age however are still developing a complex; they see violence and crime in the game and think that the real world around them is just as bleak.

  2. The Computer and Video Game Environment

    * Emerging platforms constitute a threat to retailers. Online gaming and digital downloading of games software both represent a threat to all retailers of physical products. The scale of the threat will increase in the future especially as digital downloading of software, enabled by new consoles, gains in popularity.

  1. What is e-commerce used for?

    So it is important to make sure that the website is ready to be launched and if not try to put the deadline back a bit. Have a good plan It is essential for twiceasnice.com to have a good plan, a good plan will lead to a good website.

  2. An Analysis of the 'chess board scene' in the Harry Potter video.

    The scenery at the same time is very much bright as all the background in the chessboard is lit with fire. There is a great sense of enormous power as the chess moves; a sound effect of grated stones is being used to make it sound huge, as it looks it too.

  1. Free essay

    Youtube Video Analysis - comparing a Health and Safety video and one promoting Glasgow ...

    The falling object has been filmed in a medium shot and falls from the tops of the shot to the bottom. The object is unknown to the audience until the accident is shown at the end of the video. The video starts and ends with the company website animation, the

  2. Marketing Plan Group Paper

    Foodland To Go: shop for groceries any time of the day or night via the Internet. Pick up service schedule is Monday to Friday from 2pm to 8pm (order time from 11am to 4:30pm), Saturday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm (order time from 7am to 3:30pm).

  1. Företaget Boss Media.

    Five Forces Analysis Hot fr�n konkurrenters inbrytning Kostnaderna f�r f�retag av typen Boss Media, uppst�r till st�rst del vid utvecklingen av programvara och system. F�rdelen f�r Boss Media gentemot ev. nya konkurrenter �r att medan den nya konkurrenten m�ste utveckla sin egen programvara, till relativt h�ga kostader, s� har Boss Media redan programvaran och kan satsa p� vidareutveckling ist�llet.

  2. Compare the 'Sorted' video and the Nicholas Saunders article 'Risk in Perspective'. Which is ...

    unreliable and he used text, probably because this is the only medium that he could use effectively. To ensure peoples sympathy emotional language is used throughout the video, one example is when friends and family describe Leah, saying, "she was a lovely daughter", and friends say "kind, loving, bossy at times, going out..."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work