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Moral Panic and Public Health

            Make belief stories or whatever one may call it; urban myths and other folk devil stories has persisted in the society for ages. It is not certain where and how these stories originate but they find ways to permeate the society. Most often, the media, namely the news, spreads these stories, which, in the beginning seems harmless but quickly spreads in the society and sends a chain of unease and panic among the people of the society. The quote by Schissel: "We are on the verge of an acute "moral panic" in this country that, if allowed to continue will result in the indictment of all adolescents, and especially those who are marginalized and disadvantaged. The end result will be (the) alienation of more uncompromising and disaffected youth population" by (Schissel 2000:102) will be analysed in this essay. .
             As Cohen coined the term, moral panic is a condition, episode, where a person .
             or a group of persons emerges to become a threat to societal value and interest. A moral panic as a social problem takes a form of urging the society to react to the myths that are passed around. For example, youth violence as portrayed by the news- media is very frightening; that is the youth are categorised as being dangerous in the society. As the new expects, the society should be afraid of youth: parents should be afraid when their children go to school and old people should be afraid when they encounter a young adult. As Tanner argues, the media in a way have presented youth crime that, it contributes in a moral panic condition. Tanner argues that, this kind of depiction of youth crime can do more harm that good for youths in society. In other words, by labelling these youth and building imaginary protective shields as preventive measures is not in any way good for the well-being. As a part of Schissel's quote states, if [we] allow these we encourage these moral panics, by acting to prevent ourselves as a society only make complicates the youth's life- it will result in the indictment of all adolescents.

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