Abstract 15:144-176

Sakson-Szafrańska, Izabela (2014) Deviation or norm: role of moral panic and Nagasaki syndrome in the perception of the right to use and sanction collective violence. "Normy, Dewiacje i Kontrola Społeczna" 15: 144-176.



The paper intends to analyze possible redefinition of limits of the right to use collective violence which took place after September 11, 2001, i.e. the WTC attack. The author attempts at determining whether the event could have given rise to moral panic and what legal and social consequences it entailed. The paper includes the analysis of moral panic, based on S. Cohen’s definition, complemented with the theory of E. Goode and N. Ben-Yehud. The questions of terrorism, changes in international law and in public awareness are analyzed in relation to the role of media in the perception of threats from religious and ethnic groups, to the identification of Islam as a radical and incrementally important security issue, and to the media and social stigmatization of Muslims as “others”, culturally foreign and defined as folk devils. Conclusive remarks are devoted to the impact of Nagasaki syndrome which may possibly result in violent acts being perpetrated repeatedly and without any further thinking. towards specific groups of “others”.



moral panics, Nagasaki syndrome, collective violence, deviance, targeted killing, WTC attack, folk devils