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First coined by Stanley Cohen in 1972, 'moral panic' is a key term in media studies, used to refer to sudden eruptions of indignant concern about social issues. An occurrence of moral panic is characterised by stylized and stereotypical representation by the mass media, and a tendency for those in power to claim the moral high ground and pronounce judgement. In this important book, Chas Critcher brings together essential readings on moral panics, which he contextualises in the light of moral panic scholarship through an editor's introduction and concise section introductions. The first section discusses moral panic models, and includes contributions on the history and intellectual background of the concept. Differences in thinking between British and American moral panic scholarship are also examined. A second section features important case studies, including AIDS, Satanism, drugs, paedophilia and asylum seekers. This is followed by readings that look at themes such as the importance of language, rhetoric and discourse; the dynamics of media reporting and how it affects public opinion; and the idea of the 'risk society'. Finally, readings critique and debate the use and relevance of moral panic models. "Critical Readings: Moral Panics And The Media" is a valuable resource for students and researchers in media studies, criminology and sociology. It includes essays by: David L. Altheide, Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Joel Best, Theodore Chiricos, John Clarke, Stan Cohen, Chas Critcher, Mary deYoung, Julie Dickinson, Erich Goode, Johanna Habermeier, Stuart Hall, Sean P. Hier, Tony Jefferson, Philip Jenkins, Hans Mathias Kepplinger, Jennifer Kitzinger, Daniel Maier-Katkin, Angela McRobbie, Peter Meylakhs, Suzanne Ost, Bryan Roberts, Liza Schuster, Stephen Stockwell, Kenneth Thompson, Sarah L.Thornton, Sheldon Ungar, Simon Watney, Jeffrey Weeks, Michael Welch, and Paul Williams.