folk devil


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folk devil

Someone or something that is feared because it is seen as a danger to, or a bad influence on, society. Ever since news of the mayor's cheating scandal broke, he has become the town's folk devil. Now that they think we're a part of a radical group, they are trying to run us out of town like a couple of folk devils!
See also: devil, folk
References in periodicals archive ?
The word "scare" implies that the concern over, fear of, or hostility toward the folk devil is out of proportion to the actual threat that is claimed.
Cohen, Stanley (1972), Moral Panics and Folk Devils.
THE CULTURE SHOW: DELLER AND KANE - FOLK DEVILS BBC2, 10pm British folk art has been largely ignored for centuries, but in June the first national exhibition to reflect on the tradition opened at Tate Britain, running until the end of August.
Stanley Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers Third Edition (New York: St.
The sensationalising of incidents such as these are typical examples of what the sociologist Cohen called moral folk devils.
The term moral panic was popularized by the British sociologist Stanley Cohen in 1972's Folk Devils and Moral Panics.
Occasionally, Shapiro offers an isolated news story or personal anecdote in an attempt to link one of his folk devils to an actual crime.
I do no more than list some of the best known 'moral panic' studies: Stan Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers (London, 1972); Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance (Oxford, 1994).
And probably the text from which to base any examination of the possible link between media reporting and moral panics is Stanley Cohen's 1972 book, Folk Devils and Moral Panic, in which he proposes that the mass media are ultimately responsible for the creation of such panics.
In Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972), Cohen identifies a process whereby youth phenomena begin spontaneously, become popular, are named, and then are linked with some media scandal.
Others, exploited regularly by the media for profit, attain the status of folk devils in the public mind, become icons of their era, their names written large in the milestones of homicidal history.
4) These transnational folk devils require a transnational police effort, but this removes policing from its nesting site in the state and situates it in the realm of transnational practices.
Transnational police co-operation, it appears, can proceed on the basis of what has historically been a central tenet of the modern state, its monopoly of formal social control: the folk devils are dealt with regardless.
Thus the management of one of the most visible folk devils in Europe can be seen as a purely technical exercise which has very little to do with the criminal law.
BACK in the 1960s, the academic Stanley Cohen wrote a classic sociological text called Folk Devils And Moral Panics.