Dynamics of Moral Panics Concerning Children and Youth: Historical-sociological Analysis
This article presents a historical-sociological analysis of dynamics of moral panic emergence in the Western and Russian society. On the secondary analysis ground of sociological research data 1980-2000s and their correlation with the historical facts it has been established that the focus of moral panic is around vulnerable groups: young people and children. Youth and children can be a subject as well as an object of moral panic, since they are either “victim” or “offender” in different contexts .The author explains this pattern from the point of view that the younger generation is taken as the “successor” of the current socially active group. Therefore, it causes the concern for the moral health of the society future“basis”.
Expressive social movements, which are getting more popular among young people, constitute a particular danger regarding the society future “basis”. Joining a certain subculture, the individual adopts its behaviour patterns and value system. Attracting more and more participants, this process becomes natural and widespread, it is seen by the society and the media as a moral decline, the total deformation of values and worldviews.
According to the results of the research, it has been concluded that moral panics produce ambivalent social changes. On the one hand, a control and sanctions are toughened, on the other hand, the archaic values and norms are eliminated and individuals are adapted to the contemporary social reality.