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Moral panic? – Seminar examines the anxieties we have for our children today

May 14, 2013

We live in a world that is increasingly characterised as full of risk, danger and threat to our children. Every day a new headline forces us to re-evaluate who we can trust. And as the institutions we assumed would protect our children appear to fail, we grow more and more uncertain as to know how to respond.

A panel of leading academics, policy makers, practitioners, journalists and service users will come together to examine these anxieties in the seminar ‘Moral Panic, Children and Youth’ taking place this Friday 17 May at the University of Bath.

Using the concept of moral panic they hope to interpret some of the major alarms and concerns affecting children and young people that have gripped the public in the past few years.

Topics covered will include sexual misconduct in schools, child pornography, child trafficking and child protection agencies.

Professor Ian Butler from the University of Bath – the first of three keynote speakers – will begin proceedings with a presentation on the scandals surrounding child protection.

Professor Pat Sikes from Sheffield University will discuss her experience of having her research into pupil/teacher relationships misreported in the media and Professor Keri Facer from Bristol University will examine a child’s right to access the Internet.

Professor Butler said: “Moral panic is increasingly playing a part in the public’s opinion of social issues affecting children today. The danger with moral panic is that there is a rush for a simple solution to a complex problem. In this seminar we hope to examine the social issues, and anxieties they create, in all their complexity.”

‘Moral Panic, Children and Youth’ is part of a series of seminars examining moral panic.

The series – Revisiting Moral Panics: A critical examination of 21st century social issues and anxieties – is organised jointly by the University of Bath and the University of Edinburgh and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The series was successfully launched at the University of Edinburgh in November.

Moral Panics, Children and Youth, Friday 17 May, from 09.30 – 17.00 at the University of Bath.

Ian Butler,

14th May 2013

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