PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASING – You are registering for credits ONLY. In order to complete this course and claim the credits, you must separately purchase and read Identifying Moral Panic: The Discourse of Fear in Public Policy, by Michael H. Eversman, then complete an exam. After you purchase the credits on the Social Work Online CE Institute, navigate to your My Products page and click the green Play button to purchase the publication from NASW Press. If you have already purchased the publication, you do not need to purchase it again. Once you have read the publication, navigate back to your My Products page and click the blue Get Certificate button to complete the exam. Please only attempt to complete the exam after you have separately purchased and read the publication.
Social welfare policy reveals a lot about who we are: our values and symbols, our prejudices and fears, who has power and who is deviant, and who gets help and who gets controlled. As the United States shifts toward a multiracial, foreign-born, and religiously unaffiliated majority populace, we will continue to face existential questions around our collective identity amid conflict in defining social problems and policy solutions.
Using the sociological framework of moral panic – periods of exaggerated public fear triggered by high-profile incidents linked to feared social groups – Eversman illuminates historic and contemporary moral panic episodes to show how political discourse and stereotyping lead to policymaking and enforcement that maintain social inequalities. Those most affected by these harsh and reactionary policies tend to be vulnerable populations known as "folk devils" – young people, public assistance recipients, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, those with mental illness, and illicit drug users – groups that have long served as feared targets of moral condemnation.
As a core social policy text, this book emphasizes the social justice mission of professional social work and the need to stay vigilant amid structural inequalities rooted in labeling and otherism, allowing readers to recognize the patterns of moral panic discourse as constructed in various societal arenas, identify important media functions, and think critically about social problems.Learning Objectives:
- Understand the relevance of moral panic to core professional social work values
- Identify how political discourse is used to enflame moral panic dynamics
- Identify the qualities of policies enacted due to periods of moral panic
- Identify how periods of moral panic disproportionately impact marginalized communities