Teaching resource: Folk devils and moral panics

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"Based on Stan Cohen's classic and pioneering study into youth culture"

On Easter bank holiday in 1964 in Clacton-on Sea thousands of young people from the Mods and from the Rockers gangs descended on Clacton beach. The media reported a major riot in Clacton.

Later in the year on Whitsun bank holiday weekend the groups descended upon the beaches of Brighton and Margate. Once again the media reported riotous and criminal behaviour and numerous arrests.

Stan Cohen was a young PhD student at the time and he went along out of curiosity to the Brighton gathering. He found that despite the size of the gathering, behaviour was in actual fact rather tame in comparison to the media reports.

This teaching resource is based on Stan Cohen's classic and pioneering study into youth culture, and how particular social groups are marginalised when they are perceived as a threat to social order.

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Using this resource

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Background

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Folk devils and moral panics

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Perspectives

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Thinking beyond

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References

Acknowledgements

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