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Book cover of Youth, Popular Culture And Moral Panics

Youth, Popular Culture And Moral Panics

by John Springhall

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Pages: 232
Paperback
ISBN: 9780312213954






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Overview of Youth, Popular Culture And Moral Panics

This book sets out to show that modern-day fears about the supposed moral threat posed to the young by violent movies or interactive computer games have their roots in nineteenth-century anxieties about the ill effects of popular forms of amusement on the "children of the lower classes." These concerns stretch in an almost unbroken line through successive "moral panics" in both Britain and America, as throughout history there have been attempts to shift the blame for social breakdown onto the entertainment forms of the age: penny theatres, "penny dreadfuls," dime novels, gangster films, horror comics. All these are discussed, evaluated, and placed in context. A postscript refers to "video nasties," violence on television, "gangsta rap," and computer games, each in turn playing the role of "folk devils" which must be causing delinquency. The book argues that since "moral panics" over popular culture are perennial, this tells us a great deal more about adult anxieties—fear of the future, technological change, and the erosion of moral absolutes—than about the nature of juvenile misbehavior.

Synopsis of Youth, Popular Culture And Moral Panics

Argues that since "moral panics" over popular culture are perennial, this reveals a great deal more about adult anxieties--fear of the future, technological change, and the erosion of moral absolutes--than about the nature of juvenile misbehavior.

Booknews

Springhall (history, U. of Ulster) presents an account of how commercial culture in Britain and America has been viewed, since its inception during the process of industrialization, as a force likely to undermine juvenile morals. He discusses the waves of scares from Victorian penny gaff theatres and penny dreadful novels to Hollywood gangster films and American horror comics. His final chapter refers to more recent agents of delinquency: video nasties, violence on television, gansta-rap and computer games. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author, John Springhall

John Springhall is Reader in History at the University of Ulster at Coleraine.

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Booknews

Springhall (history, U. of Ulster) presents an account of how commercial culture in Britain and America has been viewed, since its inception during the process of industrialization, as a force likely to undermine juvenile morals. He discusses the waves of scares from Victorian penny gaff theatres and penny dreadful novels to Hollywood gangster films and American horror comics. His final chapter refers to more recent agents of delinquency: video nasties, violence on television, gansta-rap and computer games. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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