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New Left Review I/203, January-February 1994

Angela McRobbie

Folk Devils Fight Back

The current set of moral panics being orchestrated by the Conservative government surfaced early in February 1993 with the death of two-year-old James Bulger. The flurry of debate which followed revolved around the breakdown of the family, the growth of crimes committed by children, and the powerlessness of the police and judiciary in many cases to do anything more than caution young offenders. By the time the two boys were tried for murder several monthslater, the language of causality had been further reduced by ministers and media to a denunciation of ‘evil’.

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Angela McRobbie, ‘Folk Devils Fight Back’, NLR I/203: £3

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