Illustrate your discussions with examples of ‘folk devils,’ and incorporating concepts such as the deviancy amplification spiral’ and the need for law and order. -? In one If his countless speeches, Doll Hitler once said, “If we do not take steps to preserve the purity of blood, the Jew will destroy civilization by poisoning us all. ” Societies all around the world have been under the ‘attack of the moral panics countless of times in history.
Moral panics, a term used to describe a state of panic in a society due to the occurrence of a certain event, fearing that the values uphold in he society are being threatened and may be in Jeopardy, was first coined by Stanley Cohen in his writings in the year of 1987 entitled Folk Devils and Moral Panics. The characteristics of moral panics are explained by Cohen as ‘a condition, episode, person or group of persons who become defined as a threat to societal values and interests’ (Cohen, 1987).
The study was primarily about the sub-cultures specifically those relating to Moods and Rockers in the ass’s scene. He studied the treatment received by the “deviants” due to their “immoral behaviors” as they were deemed to e a threat to law and order, mainly because of the way they have been represented to the society by the media in the form of control culture. Control culture refers to the media who reveal an event, and In some cases exaggerate the consequences of the event, and then “suggests”, or perhaps call for the “perpetrators” or “offenders” to be persecuted by the law.
The perpetrators of the unacceptable behaviors are regarded as “folk devils”. More often than not, these folk devils are just merely scapegoats who are being blamed for being the cause and are responsible for the armful consequences that have caused the moral panics. In some events, these scapegoats become the victims of the society who are not able to accept responsibility for Its own failure. These “folk devils” are often classified, stereotyped and regarded as deviants by the society.
Once a group has been Identified as folk devils, the negative characteristics related to the identity that the folk devils are portraying will be exclusively and primarily highlighted to the public through media coverage and commentaries by certain parties such as the authorities and experts (Cohen, 1987; Goode & Ben-Head, 1994). Dons, Chester, Welsh and Tickle (2004), cited the work of Chomsky and Hermann (1988) who views the mass media as frequently reporting ‘in events and behavior, in a way that, arguably, initiate, reinforces and embeds large sections of the general publics suspicions and fears’.
Apart from that, Cone’s (1972) (as cited by Dons et al. , 2004) view on this matter regarding the media is that they the news published by them depends on the newsman’s ‘intuitive hunch about what constitutes a good story, ranging from what they perceive the public wants, to structured Ideological ole of the media by identifying three elements, which are exaggeration, prediction, as well as symbolization. Firstly, the media exaggerates and distorts the details of an event while emphasizing on the negative characteristics of the event, usually using Norms that may bring more controversy towards that issue.
Secondly, the media also predicts that upcoming event, similar to the initial incident, will follow through but Ninth more disastrous and destructive effects. Finally, symbolization involves the process of interpreting symbolic symbols which are typically turned into symbols that dead “deviant”, such as clothing, hairstyles, and even the object themselves may become a symbol of a status. Folk devils in Malaysia ere black metal phenomenon was once considered as a big issue that was spreading all over Malaysia.
The black metal culture, practiced by some of the music genre’s listeners, involved the worshipping of Satan and other uncommon, abnormal, and bizarre activities like drinking the blood of goats and burning the Holy Quern. Apart from that, the black metal culture is often being associated with other activities that are not aligned with the values and cultures uphold by the Malay society, which nearly are Muslims. The fact that the black metal culture is said to be practicing teachings that are against the Islamic teachings have brought controversial issues to the country, especially relating to activities involving free sex and orgy.
The controversy was largely contributed due to the fact that majority of the people ‘attached” to this black metal culture are Muslims. According to The Star Online, as Mitten by Zurich (2006), the black metal culture has been ruled by the National Fatwa Council (of Malaysia) as totally against the Assyria (Islamic principles) and could lead its followers to being mortar (apostate). ere black metal culture is also regarded as a ‘cult’ practice because of its involvement in rituals such as worshipping the Satan, blood drinking, et cetera.
The black metal scene, started in the early ass’s, was heavily influenced by the music genre of thrash metal, with the trademark of loud music being played with loud drum beats and distorted sounds of guitar. The members of the black metal scene are often stereotyped as having long hair, wearing black t-shirts with gory prints, wearing accessories such as bracelets and necklace with skull-shaped pendants, as well as having tattoos on their body parts.
According to Abdullah (2008), the black metal culture in Malaysia, with 100% “participants” of the Malay race, is an ideology that is being targeted at the youths through lyrics containing messages of anti-religion, anti- , violence, free sex, and Satan worshipping. News had spread that the recruitment’s of this cult, which are typically targeted at youths, have been taken place at places such as shopping malls. Stories that include the involvement of people in music scenes being labeled as deviants have gone way back since the ass’s.
Jazz was once perceived as providing fuel for racial fears’ and was considered s a threat to the society. More often than not, music is often perceived as the prime cause of “corruption” of audience’s minds because it has the ability to “hypnotize” its listeners or audiences, while ‘destabilize youth, transporting them out of their that the media plays a big role in “pouring” fuel in creating moral panic. This issue had been made as headlines during the controversial period. Exaggeration and unconfirmed rumors had been taken as evidence of the existence of the ritual activities.
The media had perhaps exaggerated certain facts such as the actual umber of people that were involved in the activities and the nature of violence that the members of the black metal culture had committed. More often than not, the total amount of damage inflicted in the society as a whole are exaggerated and distorted to make the whole issue looks more serious than what it actually is (Goode Ben-Head, 1994). Analysis and coverage by the media are often exaggerated especially when it revolves around issues that are controversial.
Perhaps, the effects in question are often unintended as the media is competing against one another in ‘selling” their news. Deviancy amplification spiral in the case of the black metal scene started with the media recognizing the existence of the black metal culture, and later on labeling them by their physical appearances, I. E. : the way they dress themselves up, their characteristics, et cetera. Their characteristics, traits, personalities are then said to be deviant as they are perceived to be not aligned with the values that are being uphold by the society and the religion in general.
Social acceptance and tolerance of their ritual and activities that have been unearthed by the media could not be obtained, hush creating moral panics in the society, fearing that the deviant behaviors of the folk devils will affect the society as a whole, corrupting and degrading the moral value that have been proudly defended for centuries. The issue of black metal culture became the national headline for local newspaper for weeks, creating more ‘panic’ then what was already in existence. However, majority of the news reporting the activities of the black metal culture, as mentioned above, are usually exaggerated.
There are no actual proofs indicating that the said rituals; worshipping of Satan, drinking goats’ blood, have taken place in Malaysia. The media had created a wave of moral panics by exaggerating the possibilities and consequences that could’ve happened if the people, or in this case, the folk devils – the members of the black metal scene- are not caught and punished. There was an increase in social reaction not Just by the media, but also by politicians, religious movements, and other related parties.
Major religious movements condemned the practice of black metal culture and politicians criticized the culture of degrading the moral value of society as a “hole. According to Sociology Central (2006), all these conditions will then provoke he ‘authorities’ to react to the issue and deal with the problem, hence the creation of new laws. In history, the reaction gained due to the moral panics in the music scene has long been observed. Punk bands in the era of ass’s were banned for gigs and concerts. New laws were in fact been made to avoid gatherings and the creation of opportunity for the musicians to play their music Ones,2002) .
In Malaysia, any musicians of the metal genre intending to play in a concert or gig need to send a video of their previous performance in order for the authorities to authorize what can and what alee. The government has made several attempts to regulate heavy metal particularly black/death metal because of its alleged influence on the values and behavior of Malay youths’ (Tan, 2002). Tan (2002) has also cited a national paper, The Star stating that 100 Muslim youths Were caught at shopping complexes and sent to the police station for body checks, urine tests, and questioning.
Malay students in selected schools in three states were strip-searched for tattoos and other black metal accessories. Shops selling black metal paraphernalia and music were raided’. The Malaysian government has also banned any public performances relating to the genre of black metal apart from censoring the music from the national radio station and television channels. Tan (2002) has also mentioned in his article that despite the commotion by the listeners of that particular music genre stating that the music has nothing to do about Satan worshipping and anti-religion movements, the authorities still condemned the music genre.
The listeners of the music claimed that ‘references to Satan by some bands were an artistic gimmick, while metal accessories were fashionable’ Tan (2002). Apart from that, some claimed that the worshipping of Satan as reported by many are not happening locally, in the Malaysian scene of black metal, and the lyrics that promote violence have been modified by the local bands to ‘adjust” and making it suitable for local hearings. In almost every instances, the media gets all the blame for widely publicizing an issue that often some parties think are not significant, hence need not be an issue of controversy.
However, there are many instances where the media is actually being used as a medium by certain movements, and sometimes the governments in order to achieve their underlying motives. The government may want to “educate” the people, or perhaps govern how they would like the societies to think, act, and react to certain issues by “providing” or portraying Whatever moral line the political authorities would like people to believe (Sociology Central, 2006). Thus, the media is not fully responsible of the control structure in the society. He theory that fear and risk are closely related has been widely acknowledged by many risk theorists. As cited by Furred (2007), Lepton (1999) has noted that risk ‘has come to stand as one of the focal points of feelings of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. A similar point has been featured by Cohen (2002) who states that ‘reflections on risk are now absorbed into a wider culture of insecurity, visualization and fear’. A study made by Hockshops (1997), as cited by Furred (2007), explained about how behaviors are influenced by feeling rules’ – social forces instructing us on what we ought to fear, and how we ought to fear it.
He argues that our responses of fear requires the intervention of these social forces, which he labeled them as fear entrepreneurs’. It has also been noted by Furred (2007) that fear does not Just happen; it is socially instructed and then manipulated by those who seek to benefit’. The statement supports the role of secondary parties, or human agencies in promoting fear. However, it is also arguable that fear is a feeling that comes naturally without any intervention of any other party in promoting fear. The feeling of insecurity and the fact that they feel exposed to some kind of risk may contribute to the feeling of fear. Ewing a society. Usually, the specific form of behavior will be defined by the authorities as deviant behaviors that will contribute to the dysfunctional of the society. In order to prohibit such deviant behaviors, law and order will be ruled out as “guidelines” of what can and what cannot be done. The society, on the other hand, Nil have to conform to the law set out by the authority in order to keep their selves out of trouble. The concept of law and order is generally to regulate moral ‘by stressing the constructed and contested character of what is taken to be natural and normal’ (Thompson & Sahara, 1998).
Hence, perhaps the need for law and order is to minimize the feeling of insecurity and risk exposed to the society. The authority deeds to try to differentiate between the “real” problem with those that have been propagated by the media and related parties. Solutions taken should be done not to Instill more fear in the society, but to neutralize fear. In the case of the black metal culture in Malaysia, the issue was controversial, propagated and given high publicity perhaps due to the fact that the culture is deemed as not suitable and morally wrong to be practiced by any individuals in the society.
Most possibly, this issue has been widely publicized and often with exaggerated information and distorted facts, making this issue a national problem, ND the victims, or the folk devils in this case, have been unfairly Judged and treated: music in the metal genre was banned, individuals who listen to those kind of music are considered deviants and are often being associated with the black metal culture. Fear, seeded by the media and also other parties including the authorities, are not making this kind of situation any better, much less improving it.