This Byte offers readers insight into some of the central debates and questions about gender and the family, examined through the lens of moral panic. It begins with an overview of the part played by moral panics, together with an appraisal of the work of Stanley Cohen, one of the chief architects of moral panic ideas. Drawing on research and practice examples from different parts of the world, it explores interconnections between gender, class, ‘race’ and age, and interrogates the role of the state (and social work) in intervening in family life.
Viviene E. Cree is Professor of Social Work Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She is a qualified youth and community worker and social worker, and has written and researched extensively on social work.
Introduction - Viviene E. Cree;
1. Women and children first. Contemporary Italian moral panics and the role of the state - Morena Tartari;
2. Myths, monsters and legends: negotiating an acceptable working class femininity in a marginalised and demonised Welsh locale - Dawn Mannay;
3. Making a moral panic - ‘Feral families’, family violence and welfare reforms in New Zealand: Doing the work of the state? - Liz Beddoe;
4. The wrong type of mother: moral panic and teenage parenting - Sally Brown;
5. Amoral panic: The fall of the autonomous family and the rise of ‘early intervention’ - Stuart Waiton;
Afterword Maggie Mellon