Monday, October 26, 2015

"Moral Panic"

A discussion on teenage crime from Reid's Reader:
The use of the term “conversation”. Whenever I hear this term used in the context of a social debate, I know something dodgy is being sold. As when the propagandist for euthanasia lies through his/her teeth and says “We’re not promoting euthanasia – we’re just starting a conversation.” That sort of thing. The opinionated columnist who said that we needed a “conversation” with teenagers about sex was promoting the erroneous ideas (i) that public debate would miraculously clear the air; and (ii) that a one-off course of intensive propaganda aimed at teenagers (which, stripped of euphemisms, was what she was really talking about) would change teenagers’ sexual behaviour. Both these assumptions are wrong. Neither debate nor propagandising will change unacceptable teenage behaviour. (Read more.)

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