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.
Right-wing politicians attempt to make a modern folk devil of the small-time benefit cheat but say nothing about the massive VAT and corporation-tax fraud committed by the large companies which they often help to run.
It opened in 1965, near the height of the moral panic that surrounded the 'mod' and 'rocker' violence, meaning that the club's target audience were high up the public's list of folk devils.
These groups come to be clearly identified and perceived as 'folk devils' (Goode and Ben Yehuda, 1994), marginalized groups that embody the social anxieties of the dominant group (de Young, 2011).
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.
Read as a whole, the book has a tendency towards repetition in its references to Cohen and Young's seminal studies and their definitions of 'moral panics' and 'folk devils'.
Muslims in the West are described as being the victims of a 'volatile', 'hostile' and 'disproportionate' moral panic, and as being built into 'folk devils' who are blamed for many of the underlying social and economic problems of the Western societies in which they live.
This then leads to widespread alarm - "moral panic" - during which politicians feel compelled to get involved, and the behaviour of culprits or "folk devils" is made the subject of concern and, sometimes, legislation - often of a highly punitive and negative nature.
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.
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."