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Women drinking out in Britain since the early twentieth century$
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David W. Gutzke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719052644

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719052644.001.0001

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Folk devils and moral panics:

Folk devils and moral panics:

women and youth across a century of censure

Chapter:
(p.238) 11 Folk devils and moral panics
Source:
Women drinking out in Britain since the early twentieth century
Author(s):

David W. Gutzke

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719052644.003.0012

Stanley Cohen established the concept of moral panic in 1972 (Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers), and subsequently diverse scholars have explored its relevance for different periods. Seven traits characterized moral panics: public concern; hostility; public consensus; exaggerated response; volatility; introspective soul-searching; and perception of the deviant behaviour as symptomatic of a broader malaise. Further research emphasized that moral panics were not monolithic, but comprised different types: grassroots; elite; and enforcement of existing laws. Throughout the twentieth century, women and youth became the focus of moral panics in the Boer War, World Wars I and II, the early 1950s and binge drinking several decades later. Review of these moral panics show how women who moved beyond existing gender spatial boundaries provoked criticism and escalating anxiety, culminating in the demonizing of offenders as “folk devils.”

Keywords:   Stanley Cohen, Physical deterioration, Infant mortality, George R. Sims, Cry of the Children, Muckraking, Women’s entry into pubs, Binge drinking, Prostitution, Bogus historical parallels

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