Download Female Criminality: Infanticide, Moral Panics and The Female by A. Cossins PDF

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By A. Cossins

This is often the 1st e-book to contemplate the ethical rules of the feminine physique via an research of the crime of infanticide. An in-depth viewpoint from the 19th century to the current, Cossins offers a revealing perception into the background of a little-known yet frequent social crime.

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Nonetheless, contention remains about moral panic models and their utility. Critcher’s (2003) application of Cohen’s seven-stage processual model to various moral crises in order ‘to prove’ the model’s efficacy has been criticised by Rohloff and Wright (2010: 404–405; original emphasis): ‘one suspects that [Critcher] is rigorously testing so as to come up with the model’, an approach that they consider reinforces the model’s imprecision and its lack of theoretical grounding. Critcher (2003: 18) recognises that ‘reduc[ing] the complexity of [Cohen’s] analysis to a rather mechanical model of progression through inevitable stages’ misses the fact that after the emergence of a threat, the other six stages are not simply linear and progressive since people do not operate in such straightforward ways.

However, it is doubtful that Cohen intended his opening introduction to moral panics to be interpreted in a prescriptive manner. After all, his analysis of the public reaction to the mods and rockers was without empirical support in that one case study does not a phenomenon make. Cohen did not document, nor did he intend to document, all the moral panics that had ever occurred. Nonetheless, McRobbie’s and Thornton’s (1995) criticism of Cohen’s conceptualisations of society as predictable and monolithic is not fatal to moral panic analysis, since nothing is lost by recognising the diversity of social reactions to a particular threat or harm.

The fourth condition requires the public’s reaction to be disproportionate to the threat and the harm posed, while the last condition is volatility—a moral panic erupts quickly and suddenly subsides, although it may reappear over time. Critcher’s (2003: 39–41, 56–58) analysis of the attributional model’s effectiveness for explaining why particular social phenomena develop into moral panics reveals a number of problems. First, the model is even more prescriptive than Cohen’s seven stages, amounting to something of a formula, so that the lack of one attribute means a particular social phenomenon will not amount to a moral panic, with no empirical or theoretical explanation as to why all five conditions must exist.

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