Saturday, 27 November 2010

Moral panics, Hypodermic Theory and the Passive Audience

This lesson, we focused on the Hypodermic theory and the way it could be related to Moral Panics. The task we had was to create a presentation on xtranormal on an area in the media which has been reported in the sense that they caused public controversy.

Columbine high-school Massacre
The Columbine high-school Massacre's were carried out on the 20th of April 1999, 12 students and a teacher were killed as well as 21 others being injured.It was reported that the video game called 'Doom' influenced the shootings, and that both boys involved we're avid fans of the video game. They were said to have re-created their own more violent levels of the game, they also created a level of school shootings days before the massacre. Another influence could have possibly been from Marylin Manson, whose violent music took most of the blame for the shootings, whilst the game went unrecognised. The game 'Doom' which allows players to pointlessly kill lots of figures was said to have been a 'stress releif' for the murderers who were also said to be manically depressed; yet their obsessive attitude had caused them to be restricted from computers.

Facebook & Social Networking
The general idea of facebook is to socialise, which is not hard with over 400 million accounts worldwide. It has arguably a lack of security as details are exposed to potentially anyone. It is also dangerous to children as stories have been reported of paedophiles using facebook as a weapon to find children. Another example of security was someone advertising a house party on facebook and 21,000 people confirmed they were going, the house was completely ruined.
Another lack of security, is that companies have software where they can check your facebook, look through your photos to see if you're suitable for a job/place at university. The new 'Places' on Facebook could ultimately aid stalkers, as you are telling them exactly where you are at a certain moment in time. It is dangerous for naive people.

Arguably skins could be seen as having a bad influence on people in their late teens. The idea is that after teenagers watch Skins they want to live the same lifestyle e.g sex, drugs, little education. It infers that parents are bad role models and teenagers are easily influenced by a TV series portraying one extreme of teenage life, which is basically unrealistic. However a majority of people who watch Skins simply enjoy watching it for entertainment value, rather than aspiring to be the characters from Skins. A strength of the show addresses serious issues, such as drug abuse, eating disorders, pregnancy etc. yet it is exaggerated for entertainment value.

Man Hunt
The idea of the game is to kill as many people as possible, which would clearly cause controversy as it would be considered immoral. It was brought to attention when a boy from Leicester stabbed his friend to death, it was thought he was influenced by 'man hunt' but it turned out he coincidentally happened to have a copy of the game and had never actually played on it. Ironically the controversy surrounding the game made people want to buy it more, as it was represented to be dangerous. 

Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity has been reported as one of the scariest movies ever made. It has even been reported there has been suicides over the film. The idea that it is based on a true story, and the way it is filmed (handheld camera, no obvious special effects, no non diagetic sound) played the scariest part as the audience feels it could happen to them. Paranormal activity had a lot of bad press, which could have been a publicity stunt as people would then want to see what its about. 

Rap Music
Critics say rap music is corrupting children and young people, suggesting ultimatley that it makes them want to be violent and anti-social towards others. The lyrics could be seen as excessive and un-neccisary, most swear words are cencored in 'clean' versions of songs, yet there is the oppertunity to buy the original version of a song without any cencors. It is represented to send out a message that sex/drugs/violence are acceptable and a normal part of life.


  1. Could you do something on moral panics for Fusion? You could try and do it in the style of Brass Eye (though obviously take great care with language).

  2. Yes I can do, I'll start looking into what I could write about for the next issue.