In ONE paragraph, evaluate 'moral panics'?Include :- - The strengths and weaknesses of 'moral panics'?

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ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in a group of people about an issue that appears to threaten the social order.

"According to Stanley Cohan, author of Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972), a moral panic occurs when condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests."

The strength of moral panic is in its numbers.  A large group can make more noise and elicit change better than a small group of people.  The weakness in moral panic is that many times the truth is not understood by the group.  This can cause threats, retaliation, and violence when none is needed. 

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The strength of moral panic is that it brings a community into consensus and perhaps even unites it more than ever, creating a sense of organization that operates like a team, even an Army, to defend the society against the moral panic. The weakness of moral panics is that in many ways they are the result of negative publicity, and may not even be real at all. They are what people call "public witch hunts" that surface suddenly on the press, or through public opinion, and then trend to disappear.