A Light Read

I’m always fascinated by what people throw in the back of their cars.

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Dig in!

Walking down a street in Durham, NC, I happened to notice that big red book and a few others strewn about the rear window shelf: “Moral Panic and the Politics of Anxiety,”  edited by Sean P. Hier.  I’m panicked just absorbing the meaning behind the title.

Moral Panic?!

It’s a term that been around for a long time.  Since 1830.   Check out what Wikipedia’s definition.

I see the phrase and my stress level shoots up.

“Politics of Anxiety?”

Yep.  There’s a book:

The Politics of Anxiety in Nineteenth-Century American Literature.”  A must-read now.

Put them together and you’ve got a collection of essays from some social scientists.

Book Description

Publication Date: July 26, 2011 | ISBN-10: 0415555558 | ISBN-13: 978-0415555555 | Edition: 1Moral Panic and the Politics of Anxiety is a collection of original essays written by some of the world’s leading social scientists. It seeks to provide unique insight into the importance of moral panic as a routine feature of everyday life, whilst also developing an integrated framework for moral panic research by widening the scope of scholarship in the area.

Many of the key twenty-first century contributions to moral panic theory have moved beyond the parameters of the sociology of deviance to consider the importance of moral panic for identity formation, national security, industrial risk, and character formation. Reflecting this growth, the book brings together recognized moral panic researchers with prominent scholars in moral regulation, social problems, cultural fear, and health risks, allowing for a more careful and critical discussion around the cultural and political significance of moral panic to emerge.


There’s only one left for $158 (hardcover), $128 for the paperback.   It looks fascinating, actually.  But that’s a lot of money.

I would love to meet the owner of this car.   I  picture a messy, bearded professor-type.  There’s a collection of books, including one by Louis Althusser,  a French Marxist philosopher.

Bet I find Moral Panic and the Politics of Anxiety on one of my thrift shop/garage sale expeditions.

I’ll be looking for it now.   That would just be fantastic if I find it.

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