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Deviant youth in the news: a critical discourse analysis of media and participant social constructions of a contemporary moral panic

Cannon, Mirand (2011) Deviant youth in the news: a critical discourse analysis of media and participant social constructions of a contemporary moral panic. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This research explores the relationship between media and participant discourse in the construction of the contemporary moral panic of ‘youth crime’. The examination of previous research showed youth crime to be a historically prevalent topic within media and through the sensationalised construction has led to the formation of a moral panic. This research takes a critical discourse analytic approach to analysing media articles and participant accounts of the way in which youths are understood and perceived in society. From this common discourse themes; ‘hoodies’, ‘youth culture’, fear and social inequality were identified as dominating social constructions of youth. The conclusion pointed to the significance of the bi-directional relationship between media and participant discourse as significant in generating the moral panic of surrounding youth.

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