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Word Count: 584
A deviancy amplification spiral occurs when a moral panic ie an overreaction to forms of defiance or wrong doing believed to be a threat to society is stereotyped in a negative manner by the media who exaggerate the facts so that it makes a good story As a result of this there is a rapid build up of public concern which forces authorities or opinion makers to respond to the threat resulting in either social change or the panic ceases From the early 60s to the present day the media have had a central part in the role of creating moral panics especially those regarding drug abuse and defiant behaviour among young people I have chosen to illustrate this using two examples - the mods and rockers of 1964 and the death of Leah Betts in 1995 resulting from ecstasy Mods and Rockers The mods and rockers were two British youth movement who were involved in small-scale scuffles and vandalism in Clacton on Easter Monday 1964 Although there were only small scale scuffles the media exaggerated the potential threat and the level of violence and damage that was caused They distorted the facts and portrayed the events using the headlines day of terror and hell-bent on destruction but what wasnt reported in the newspapers was that the cameras didnt get to Clacton to the day after the scuffles and that an eye-witness said that there was a maximum of 200 damage Nevertheless the media exaggeration forced the police to intervene strongly by arresting more people to try to prevent the threat and as a result of this public concern was increased Leah Betts The death of Leah Betts is a classic example of moral panic regarding youth culture and drugs Leah Betts was an 18 year old student who collapsed four hours after taking an ecstasy tablet at her 18th birthday party on 11 November 1995 in Essex She was
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