The London Riots: Another Moral Panic - or What?

Posted by pt91 at Feb 03, 2012 12:14 PM |
Free University of Leicester lecture on Wednesday 8 February to give insight into 2011 violence

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 3 February 2012

The riots that rocked London and other UK cities in 2011 will be analysed by a criminologist in a public lecture at the University of Leicester on 8 February 2012.

At his lecture ‘The Riots 2011: Another Moral Panic or... What?’ Tony Jefferson, Emeritus Professor at Keele University, will explore how similar, and how different, these recent riots were to those we have seen before.

It forms part of the Department of Criminology’s re-launched Scarman Lecture Series.

The lecture will start with a description of what, where and when it happened, and who was involved. It will then explore whether these riots might best be conceptualised as another example of a moral panic. Comparing these riots with apparently similar riots from the seventies onwards, Professor Jefferson will then try to identify what features might be new about the present riots.

Professor Tony Jefferson said:

"Reading some of the recent commentaries on this year’s riots was like hearing several blind men describe an elephant by the part of its anatomy they variously happened to touch; or, without even bothering to touch it at all, in some cases.”

"I will conclude by offering some ‘notes towards’ a reading of the riots based on what we (think we) know of the ‘whole anatomy’ of the riots, not just the parts that best fit existing ideological predilections."

Professor Jefferson has researched and published widely on aspects regarding youth subcultures, the media, policing, race and crime, masculinity, fear of crime and, most recently, racial violence.

Dr Neil Chakraborti, Senior Lecturer at the University's Department of Criminology said: "We are delighted to welcome Professor Tony Jefferson as part of this year's Scarman Lecture Series. His analysis of the 2011 riots will have considerable relevance to criminologists, policy-makers and to the wider public and we look forward to hearing what he has to say."

The lecture, which is now fully booked, takes place on 8 February from 4.30 in the Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre, Henry Wellcome Building. A wine reception will follow and all who attend will have the opportunity to speak to Professor Tony Jefferson.


Notes to editors:

For more information, or media/photographers wishing to attend, please contact

Tammy Ayres

0116 252 5700 email

Report by Laura Toader

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