The phrase was first used in 1830, and since then, moral panics have cropped up every year, scaring people for no reason, usually over something that's either been overblown by the media or invented out of thin air. A “moral panic,” as cultural critics labeled it, set in. David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) emerged as one of the hottest artists of the 1980s East Village art scene.

Moral injury, a term that originated in the military, can be defined as the psychological distress that results from actions, or the lack of them, which violate someone’s moral or ethical code.1 Unlike formal mental health conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, moral injury is not a mental illness.

10/15/2014 03:01 pm ET Updated Dec 15, 2014 In the wake of a Dallas hospital's decision to release a Liberian patient with Ebola into the community -- who later died of the disease after returning to the hospital -- a fierce debate has erupted over how to deal with the potential for an outbreak in the United States. A moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order. Moral injury. Ebola and Moral Panic.

It was not unlike 1950s fears over gory comic books and 1980s worries over sex-laced rock music.

The hysterical moral-panic obsessed print media I referred to - the Daily Mail, Express, Sun etc - are in a completely different league. According to Stanley Cohen, author of Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972) and credited with coining the term, a moral panic occurs when "[a] condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests."


Let me offer the example of one artist whose work has sparked intense controversy. It was based on my PhD thesis, written in 1967–69 and the term ‘moral panics’ very much belongs to the distinctive voice of the late Sixties.

Every moral panic is time limited.

The concept of moral panic was first developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1960s, principally by Stan Cohen, initially for the purpose of analyzing the definition of and social reaction to youth subcultures as a social problem. The visual habits of moral panic surrounding feminist and queer imagery today are rooted in the paranoid style and moral anxieties of these earlier episodes. A moral panic is defined as an intense feeling of fear over an issue affecting the population.

As the social strains from which they emerge lose their salience over time, and therefore their power to generate social anxiety and fuel the relentless pursuit of folk devils, a moral panic simply loses its emotive and moral steam. Folk Devils and Moral Panics was published in 1972.