Outrageous! Moral panics in Australia

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Moral panics in Australia

Edited by Scott Poynting and George Morgan

"... Outrageous! includes historical and contemporary case studies and the juxtaposition can be telling ... Some chapters, particularly one on Cabramatta, show that representations of issues can be more complex than our understanding of the term moral panic would suggest..."

-- Lorien Kaye, The Age,16 June 2007

"... this compilation paints a grim and sobering portrait of our society.Outrageous! is a pointed primer into the epidemic of moral panics."

-- Dan Eady, Courier Mail,2 June 2007


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Outrageous! Moral panics in Australia

Edited by Scott Poynting and George Morgan

ACYS Publishing
March 2007
ISBN 978 1 875236 59 6, 224pp


What was Cronulla about? What really prompted 5,000 people to take the beach to bash people of 'Middle Eastern' appearance?

When Macquarie Fields exploded into flames as Molotov cocktails were hurled at police, was it just a car crash that provoked the residents?

Why did the Indigenous community on Palm Island react so violently to Mulrunji's death in custody?

In this detailed examination of case studies, a distinguished group of experts demystifies the social processes of moral panic in Australia. Seventeen chapters explore not only the salience of the notion of moral panic in contemporary Australia, but also the relevance of moral panics in Australian history, the impact of new communication technologies and the demonisation of social categories, such as cultural minorities. Set as a text for university students, this book is a fascinating read for all those who want to go behind the hysteria, the headlines and the sound bites.

About the Editors  

Scott Poynting is Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of Western Sydney. He is co-author of Kebabs, Kids, Cops and Crime (2000) and Bin Laden in the Suburbs: Criminalising the Arab Other (2004).

George Morgan is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of Western Sydney. He is author of Unsettled Places: Aboriginal People and Urbanisation in New South Wales (2006).

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