The Sociology of Fear
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Josef Mechure on Monday February 9, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 110 at a university taught by Wender in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 77 views.
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Date Created: 02/09/15
23 The Sociology of Fear What are some of the sociopolitical and cultural implications of collective fear 0 Barry Glassner quotThe Culture of Fear Why American are Afraid of the Wrong Thingsquot IR 135144 0 Fox quotMass Shootings in Americaquot Kitsuse and Cicourel quotA Note on the Uses of Of cial Statisticsquot Exoticizing the Familiar 8844 total deaths from 2014 Ebola outbreak As of 1302015 Diarrhea kills 2195 children every day mostly in Third World countries Two Central Ideas 0 Panic quotA sudden and excessive feeling of alarm or fear usually affecting a body of persons and leading to extravagant or injudicious efforts to secure safetyquot OED Moral Panic Exaggerated widespread social fear of a supposedly hidden deviant and dangerous quotenemyquot 0 Fear as a growing social issue no longerjust an individual emotion but a fundamental way of life and a social problem in and off itself Frank Furedi 0 Fear detached from personal experience quotfixedquot vs quotfree oatingquot fear 0 Do you agree or disagree Any group disadvantaged there is a group that is advantaged from that o In a rapidly changing modern world our fears constantly change and life becomes a process of managing risk 0 We often fail to engage risk in positive ways Thus risk becomes a social problem in its own right 0 Our society is marked by constant anxiety over an everwidening range of risks C Wright Mills private troubles vs public issues Paradox why are relatively safe secure people so afraid Remember Blumer Illegitimate concerns sometimes overshadow real social problems Don39t take every supposed fear at face value Subjectivelyrooted emotions and perceptions shape law policy and our very world itself Remember re exivity Terrorism child abortion and school shootings vs poverty healthcare and homelessness Differences among these kinds of problems 0 The paradox of moral panics the problem that we ignore give rise to the very things that we fear 0 The psychosocial roots of fear cannot be reduced to politics conspiracies or media effects 0 Such explanations are appealing but tend to oversimplify reality 0 Powerful sociopolitical economic and cultural forces drive the dynamics of fear 0 Fear is a situated way of interpreting a wide range of experiences both immediate direct and mediated indirect Kitsuse and Cicourel quotDeviancequot is not the same thing as the underlying behavior that it claims to describe 0 We need to distinguish between behavior that gets classi ed as quotdeviant39 and the process by which this classi cation occurs 0 quotRates of deviant behavior are produced by the actions taken by persons the social system which de ne classify and record certain behaviors as deviant When we only rely on of cial statistics to study socia phenomena our grasp of the underlying reality is limited at best and distorted at worse 0 The origin of of cial statistics is a sociological question in its own right 0 People pro t from fear
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