It is widely acknowledged that this is the age of the moral panic. Newspaper headlines continually warn of some new danger resulting from moral laxity, and television programmes echo the theme with sensational documentaries. This concise guide presents and compares the various different approaches that have been adopted in studies of moral panics and integrates concepts such as 'risk' which have been developed in related fields. With the increasing number of moral panics in recent years triggered by incidents such as the Bulger case and the spread of AIDS, this book examines their wider significance particularly in terms of the functioning of the mass media. In this book, Kenneth Thompson traces the developments in moral panic studies and also re-introduces some of the initial broader relevance of this field by treating moral panics not simply as separate episodes but in relation to systems of representation and regulation, and as symptoms of wider social and cultural tensions.