Folk Devils and the myth of Growing Crime

Every generation has its folk devils. In the 60s it was the mods and rockers, in Edwardian England it was teenage boys, in ancient Greece young adolescents were thought to be the biggest threat to the social order. Usually there is a perception that young adolescent boys will somehow tear down the pillars of what is good and just and will replace it with their own variations of anarchy and crime; only it never happens. What is mis perception remains so and the social order does not crumble.
It is all a matter of distance and perception. In historical terms crime is at an all time low. The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes was famous for his comment that life was ‘nasty, brutish and short.’ Much has changed since he wrote those words. There is far less physical crime and murder, despite what the media would have you believe, is relatively rare. What has changed is not so much the prevalence of physical threat to both property and person, but our awareness of it and all its details as well as our levels of acceptance.

4 thoughts on “Folk Devils and the myth of Growing Crime

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