MED 511 Medya Skandalları ve Ahlaki Panik

MED 511—Mass Media Scandals and Moral Panics

Fall 2011

Santral E-4 116

Wednesdays 3-6 p.m.

Instructor: Assoc. Prof. Aslı TUNÇ

Office: Santral E-4 113

Phone: 0-212-311 7177


Office Hours: Tuesdays 2-3 p.m. and Wednesdays 2-3 p.m. or by appointment

Course Description: Moral panics are defined as “a condition, episode, person or group of persons who become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.” This course will focus on the media’s role in amplifying the fears and concerns of the public related with those threats and how the menaces of the contemporary world such as AIDS, swine flu, global terror, moral corruption, copycat crimes, satanism, sexual deviances, hooliganism, and political scandals are reproduced by the mass media and create social fear and urban myths. The social and political implications of this phenomenon and how the media (particularly newspapers and television) play a central role will also be discussed by using distinct Turkish cases. The contemporary cases will be analyzed in the framework of symbolic interactionism and deviancy and amplification approaches.
Objectives and Learning Goals:

On successful completion of this graduate seminar, the students will be able to:

° place moral panics within media studies framework

° identify and analyze Turkish examples of moral panic

° critically analyze the news coverage of crime

° compare the Turkish media scandals to the International cases

° adapt the moral panics and media scandal literature to Turkish cases and make research

Required (and Supplementary) Texts and Readings:

Required Books:

Cohen, Stanley. (2002). Folk Devils and Moral Panics: Creation of Mods and Rockers. Routledge.

Critcher, Chas. (2006). Critical Readings: Moral Panics and the Media. Open University Press.

Jewkes, Yvonne. (2004). Media and Crime: A Critical Introduction (Key Approaches to Criminology). Sage Publications.

Hall, Stuart. (2002). Policing the Crisis. Mugging, and Law and Order. Macmillan.

Lull, James. (1997). Media Scandals: Morality and Desire in the Popular Culture Marketplace. Polity Press.

Thompson, John B. (2000). Political Scandal. Power and Visibility in the Media Age. Polity Press.

Thompson, Kenneth. (1998). Moral Panics (Key Ideas). Routledge.

Articles and supplementary texts will be provided by the professor during the semester.

Grading and Assessment:

Class Participation: 20 %

° Timely, active and intelligent participation in class discussions is expected.

Leading Class Discussion: 10 %

° Every week, selected students will be in-charge of summarizing readings, bringing up discussion questions and relevant examples, and leading class discussions

4 Short Essays/Response Papers: 40 %

° Short essays based on careful and critical reading on the assigned texts; between 800-1100 words each. Details to follow.

Research Paper: 30 %

° Every student will conduct a  research in the context of this course.

Calendar and Readings:

Week # Topics (and Readings/Activities/Screenings)
Week 1

September 28

Going over the syllabus
Week 2

October 5

What is exactly a moral panic? Why study moral panics?

Reading: Chritcher, pp. 1-40; Thompson, pp. 1-31

Week 3

October 12

Media and Moral Panics,

Reading: Jewkes, pp.63-86; Chritcher, pp. 266-276

Week 4

October 19

Deviance and Moral Panics

Cohen, pp. 1-15

Week 5

October 26

Social Contruction of Moral Panics, Media Coverage of AIDS, Satanism, Swine Flu, Pedophilia, Child Pornography

Reading: Thompson, K. pp. 57-86

Response Paper 1 will be on this article

Week 6

November 2

November 9

Media and Crime

Reading: Jewkes, pp. 1-35

Religious Holiday (Kurban Bayramı)

Week 7

November 16

The Construction of Crime News

Reading: Jewkes, pp. 36-62; Chiricos and Padget, pp. 755-786.

Response Paper 2 will be on Chiricos’s article

Week 8

November 23

Media and Presentation of Crime

Reading: Jewkes, pp. 140-169

Week 9

November 30

Crime and Surveillance Culture

Reading: Jewkes, pp. 172-198

Response Paper 3 will be on the article

Week 10

December 7

Guest Speaker: A Forensic Media Expert on the Mass Media Coverage of Pedophiles and Sex Offenders
Week 11

December 14

Media Scandals and Social Theory

Reading: Lull, pp. 1-65; Thompson, J.B., pp. 1-31.

Week 12

December 21

Celebrities and Mass-Mediated Scandals

Reading: Gronbeck, 122-143; Hinerman, 143-164.

Response Paper 4 will be on Gronbeck’s article

Week 13

December 28


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