Blog Week 3

Media became absolutely upsets with the notion about mods verses rockers, because they were causing a trouble across Britain. In the period 1963-1965 there became huge amount of media coverage around this two groups of people.

Rokers and Mods all become associated with certain types of violence, which in turn also provoke public reaction and emotion, as topics in their own right. Such issues as football hooliganism, drug abuse, vandalism and political demonstrations, all struck a chord in public opinion, but the impact might not have been on such a large scale, were it not for the part the mass media play in the exposition of the facts.

At the point of origin in the 1960s, concepts like “moral panic” and “deviancy amplification” were symbiotically linked to certain assumptions about the mass media. Vital causal links where taken for granted notably when the mass media are the primary source of the public’s knowledge about deviance and social problems. The media appear in any or all three roles in moral panic dramas.

1)    Setting the agenda

2)    Transmitting the images

3)    Breaking the silence making a claim

The media was saying that people in this subcultures was breaking the law to make money.

The mods and rockers conflict led sociologist Stanley Cohen to develop the term “moral panic”, which examined media coverage of the mods and rockers riots in the 1960s. The conflict came to a head at Clacton during the Easter weekend of 1964. Round two took place on the south coast of England, where Londoners head for seaside resorts on Bank Holidays. Within a short time, marauding gangs of mods and rockers were openly fighting, often using pieces of deckchairs. He claims that the UK media turned the mod subculture into a negative symbol of delinquent and deviant status.

Newspapers described the mod and rocker clashes as being of “disastrous proportions”, and labelled mods and rockers as “sawdust Caesars”, “vermin” and “louts”.  Newspaper editorials fanned the flames of hysteria, such as a Birmingham Post editorial in May 1964, which warned that mods and rockers were “internal enemies” in the UK who would “bring about disintegration of a nation’s character”.

Cohen says the media used possibly faked interviews with supposed rockers such as “Mick the Wild One”. As well, the media would try to get mileage from accidents that were unrelated to mod-rocker violence, such as an accidental drowning of a youth, which got the headline “Mod Dead in Sea”.

Cohen discus the way in which the mass media fashions these episodes, or stylises them, amplifying the nature of the facts and consequently turning them into a national issue, when the matter could have been contained on a local level.

Eventually, when the media ran out of real fights to report, they would publish deceptive headlines, such as using a subheading “Violence”, even when the article reported that there was no violence at all. Newspaper writers also began to associate mods and rockers with various social issues, such as teen pregnancy, contraceptives, amphetamines, and violence.

Media created a big moral panic on the society, by providing information that is received about the behavior in question. And then this information is structured buy various commercial and political constraints.

The ‘moral panics’ over recent years have essentially tapped into the public’s fears for their safety and the safety of society in years to come.


By Slavik

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