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Archive for the ‘Society and CM’ Category


E is for England

In the 80’s, England was  an unhappy place. Unemployment was hitting over 3million people and gang violence/football hooligans was undoubtedly effecting even more than that. Race violent was rife. The English youth  were struggling to find an icon it can subscribe to, as identities were lost due to a failing music system in what is described as a post punk era.

Soon to be DJ and one of the founders of Rave culture, Nicky Halloway went for a holiday in Ibiza. The year was 1987. Trying to leave the “stiff upper lip” society (Chemical Generation) Halloway travelled around Ibiza to settle in San Rafael, where he found “the weirdest people from every continent”.

These people, fuelled on ecstasy, were dancing and most important “freeing inhibitions” (Chemical Generation) and soon Halloway felt compelled to take this new vibe back to Englan – which he called Balearic Sound.

DJ Nick Holloway opened a club called Trip in June 1988, “The ecstasy and the music came together. It was all part of the package. People who hadn’t done ecstasy didn’t really get it…and as soon as they did an “e”they got it” (Chemical Generation)

Mimicking the Hippie subculture, the rave culture started to encourage ‘ravers’ to feel the love and spread the happiness. Gary, an x-gang member who was interviews in Chemical Generation said “ecstasy was a pacifier” claiming soon all the gang and hooligan violence vanished.

Gary also claimed there was massive progress in race relations too, sighting that  races, nationalities, football club allegiance and social classes were all seen dancing in clubs, enjoying it.

As the popularity grew so did need to hold larger raves, and now they were moved to various fields across the M25, thus causing a game of cat and mouse with ravers and cops. These ravers, most of which were guided to the location via a phone messaging service, were causing both noise and traffic issues in their quest to ‘rave’. This angered local police who started to break up these raves.

Extending the cat and mouse game rave promoters started to hire lawyers to attend the raves and agrue with the police – many times winning and earning the polices permission to continue with their party.

Coupled with these wide eyed members of society, who were only acting on Thatchers instructions of “go get it” in a bit to promote entrepreneurship – there also came the dark side and thus drug dealing became linked to raving.

John White, an ex-drug dealer claimed during his time prior to the rave culture nobody showed him “love” or ever offered him a job – so drug dealing became a natural progression. Sighting  every time he answered the phone he would earn £50.

To combat this drug dealing The Criminal Justice Act was introduced. This act gave police wide  ranging powers to outlaw illegal raves but the police were also  given increased powers under the Entertainment Bill. This included fines for holding unlicensed raves  were increased  to £20,000 and six months imprisonment

But, for every new law and bill introduced the ravers found a new method to hold their events. Ministry of sound was granted an all night licence and thus became the hotspot to attend – birthing the new trend of super clubs.

Although the masses were only looking for sweet harmony… It is not easy to say who is right here, the law forbids the use of illegal substances – just like LSD in the 50’s, but as Boy George states at the start of Chemical Generation “it allowed an entire generation to free their inhibitions” and now these people are working as “designs, graphic artists even polititions”

There has been a ‘huge wave of creativity”, openness to gay people, openness to different races – can all this be stemmed from people dancing together fuelled by the “currency of the clubland”?


Moral panic… What is it?

Moral panics occur when media and society link youth culture to juvenile delinquency, as video games and music were to the 1999 Columbine shootings. Panics even arouse from Elvis Presley, impairing the morals of minors with his hip-swivelling.

While researching moral panic I came across this blog that introduced me to the concept. I feel it is so accurate I could not introduce it my self any better, so here goes:

“Moral panic is an interesting social phenomenon that can have tragic results. The term is used to describe a state of panic induced in a large group of people, who feel that a societal norm or an aspect governing the safety of people is being seriously threatened. The term is the creation of sociologist Stanley Cohen, who examined the way that Mods and Rock and Roll fans were perceived as a threat to society in the 1960s and early 1970s. Moral panic clearly existed prior to Cohen creating the term. Virtually every dance style introduced in the 20th century created such panic; even the waltz was condemned much earlier as a sure path to sin because the couples embraced each other.

Most new music styles, and the fans of such styles, have induced — at least in small-scale —moral panic. From ministers condemning the evils of rock and roll to significant news coverage of the hippie culture and from Kurt Cobain’s death to the Goth movement, people may become significantly afraid that a corruptible influence is likely to cause harm to their children and their way of life. These concerns are often inflated by excessive coverage in the media of a few events that would indicate all children who picked up a Nirvana album would commit suicide, or all children who donned black eye shadow would decide to worship vampires.”

Moral panics can be broken into 3 segments

1.  Occurrence and signification

An event occurs and, because of its nature, the media decide it is worthy of dramatic coverage (“Full Colour Pics of Satanic Abuse Site”, “Razorblade Found In Babyfood”, “Terrorist Cell plot attack” etc) and the event is signified as a violent, worrying one.

2.  social implications

Connections are made between one event and  society as a whole. After the initial event, the life of the story is extended through the contributions of ‘expert’ opinionmakers, who establish that this one event is just the tip of the iceberg, and that it is part of an overall pattern which constitutes a major social menace (“Child abuse figures on the up” “Safety concerns at babyfood packing plants”,”Youth Groups targeted by Extremists” etc etc). Thus public attention is focused on the issues

3. Social Control

Moral panics seek some sort of resolution and this often comes with a change in the law, designed to further penalise those established as the threatening deviants at the source of the panic (“New clampdown on devil-worshippers”. “Strict New Safety Controls on Babyfood”, “Hate Groups Banned”). This satisfies the public who feel they are empowered politically by the media.

Moral panic to me is like scaremongering,   the use of fear to influence other people into taking a certain action or thinking a certain way. for me, the biggest scale of scaremongering is been held daily in the US.

The Unites States terror alert, for me, is the biggest use of moral panic known at this age.  It was set up post 9-11 to warn US citizens and the world of the chances of an attack. in my opinion it is just a method to creating and justified  moral panic among the masses. by constantly raising and lowering it the masses do not know what to expect and are constantly been kept of their toes.

an example of moral panic been spread

If we do not take steps to preserve the purity of blood, the Jew will destroy civilisation by poisoning us all. (Hitler, 1938)

final quote from Cohen:

More moral panics will be generated and other, as yet nameless, folk devils will be created. This is not because such developments have an inexorable inner logic, but because our society as present structured will continue to generate problems for some of its members…and then condemn whatever solution these groups find