Moral Panics

"Asses the reasons why 'moral panics' occurred about Gangster Rap and Mods and Rockers? Where these panics justified?"

In this essay I will talk about moral panics around gangster rap and other genres of music.  

Moral Panic is when a group of people feel a concern about an issue that appears to threaten the social order. Stanley Cohen – author of `Folk Devils and Moral Panics´ (1972),   says that a moral panic occurs when `a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests´. When people have trouble adapting to change they feel fear and loss of control and when the media exaggerate these “dangers”, the fears will he heightened. Media also tend to find up stories to avoid the people from seeing the real and bigger problems within the society, so to scapegoat is not unusual within moral panics.

In the mid of 1980 gangster rap was pioneered by rappers like Ice-T and Schooly D, and became more popular in the late 80’s by groups as N.W.A. (Niggaz with Attitude). But the genre Gangster rap caused a great deal of controversy, and was criticized by many people. Especially religious leaders criticized the genre and accused it of promoting violence, profanity, sex, promiscuity, homophobia, rape, street gangs, vandalism, use of weapons, stealing, drug abuse and dealing, alcohol abuse and materialism. Whilst rappers prefer to themselves as actors, playing a role that describes the reality of the inner-city life, but they don’t necessarily endorse this behavior. Do gangster rap promote violence among other things or does society scapegoat them to hide other problems? We will now look in to that.

Elvis Presley was a victim of moral panics in the 1950’s before the focused turned to gangster rap. The moral panic was about his combination of hillbilly music, gospel singing and black rhythm and blues. `Moral crusaders burned him as just another bad influence out to corrupt the new generation´....