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As we approached the turn of the twenty-first century, news outlets increasingly covered violence in America’s schools; most specifically violence in the form of “school shootings.” A panic swept the entire country after the extended coverage of a few high profile incidents of school shootings. As a result, prominent sectors of society began searching for and analyzing the possible causes of school violence. Many were quick to blame violent television shows, films, and video games, but did the violence occur as a byproduct of violent entertainment or were these “bad influences” merely patsies? The individuals who are ultimately responsible for this “widespread and ever increasing violence” are much closer than many are aware.
Moral Panic
In his 1972 text, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers, Stanley Cohen explains that moral panic can occur when “a condition, episode, person, or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat” by a large percentage of a population “to societal values and interests”. Resulting from this moral panic, as Goo…
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