• 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 ...

    This shows that young people aren't satisfied with just killing people anymore, in order to fulfill their needs as a consumer, videogames have increased interactivity and with that they increase how personal it becomes as consumers crave more involvement and more immersion.

  2. 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

  1. The Computer and Video Game Environment

    every arcade game released in the US, nine are released in Japan. The history of the Japanese arcade is very significant in the story of the decline of the American arcade, and in the shape of game design in general.

  2. ICT Solutions for individuals and society

    the two or more words on the same page, or searches for either of the words and not searches for websites which do not contain that word. For this, I will use the same search engines as before. To do this I am going to have to use the link saying advanced settings.

  1. How technolgy effects my community

    If the drivers still broke the law by speeding they won't only be facing a fine but by speeding over the humps it can also cause serious damage to the cars suspension. Another way I would improve speed cameras would be to take down the signs warning motorists of a

  2. Marketing Plan Group Paper

    Location: Ewa Town Center b. Departments: bakery, liquor, floral, seafood, deli, Asian, Gourmet and Natural foods c. Maika`i Card: earn one Maika`i point for every dollar you spend on every purchase. My Rewards Certificate good for 5% off future grocery purchase with every 250 Maika`i points or 250 AlohaPass Miles (Aloha Airlines tickets)

  1. Should Football Introduce The Video Replay?

    This is where the video replay would come into play. If there is a decision where the referee is not 100% sure then he could take it to the video replay, where by a fourth official could look at the replay and tell the referee whether it was a foul or not.

  2. Setting up a good video shop.

    below with all the prices: - Plant & Machinery Cost for 1 Unit Units Required Total Cost Revolving video display rack (holds 45 videos) 120 1 120 Wall Mounted video display Racks (holds 60 videos) 40 25 1000 TV/Video display 350 2 700 Counter/ display counter (2m wide)

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