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Springhall, John. Youth, Popular Culture and Moral Panics: Penny gaffs to gangsta rap, 1830–1996. New York: Macmillan, 1998. 
Added by: joachim (7/20/09, 1:28 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (9/29/13, 1:59 AM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 0-312-21394-8
BibTeX citation key: Springhall1998
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Categories: General
Keywords: Horror, Kulturpolitik, Popular culture, United Kingdom, USA
Creators: Springhall
Publisher: Macmillan (New York)
Views: 9/472
This book asks whether books, films or magazines can help create a corrupting environment which encourages crime and moral decay. It examines, over a lengthy time span, examples of both British and American popular culture that supposedly incited juvenile crime, among other iniquities, to test the accuracy of such claims. Comprising 6 chapters, chapter 1 locates the Victorian penny theatre in the context of the demand for entertainment among the young working class in cities such as London and considers the incessant legal persecution of these so-called nurseries of crime. Chapter 2 looks at cheap juvenile publishing in late 19th century Fleet Street as a mass-market business. Chapter 3 documents how such penny dreadfuls became a scapegoat for juvenile crime with reference to late Victorian trials in which serials and periodicals found in the possession of young men were used as evidence of criminal intent. Chapter 4 focuses on the calls for censorship which Hollywood gangster movies provoked in both Britain and America, largely because of their mass appeal in the 1930s to what were perceived as the potentially criminal young. Chapter 5 is devoted to American publication of crime and horror comic books in the later 1940 and early 1950s, and the subsequent legislation banning horror comics in Britain. Chapter 6 offers a short postscript touching on more recent moral panics over aspects of media entertainment, such as video nasties, violence on television, gangsta rap and the interactive computer-game scare.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments (viii)

Introduction (1)
1 Penny Theatre Panic: Anxiety over Juvenile Working-class Leisure (11)
2 ‘Penny Dreadful’ Panic (I): Their Readers, Publishing and Content (38)
3 ‘Penny Dreadful’ Panic (II): Their Scapegoating for Late-Victorian Juvenile Crime (71)
4 Gangster Film Panic: Censoring Hollywood in the 1930s (98)
5 ‘Horror Comic’ Panic: Campaigning against Comic Books in the 1940s and 1950s (121)
6 Mass Media Panic: the 1980s and 1990s (147)
Conclusion (156)

Appendix I. Jack Sheppard in Victorian Popular Culture (163)
Appendix II. American Dime And Half-Dime Novels (169)
Appendix III. Hank Janson Paperbacks of the 1950s (173)

Notes (176)
Bibliography (196)

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