Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Familiar strangers, juvenile panic and the British press: the decline of social trust.

Morrison, James



Though we have long regarded our children as subjects of moral scrutiny and concern, rarely have they been treated with such heightened anxiety - or profound ambivalence - as they are in today's Britain. Late-modern childhood, as this book demonstrates, is perceived and portrayed as a state of both innocence and savagery, with juveniles besieged by a barrage of menaces while also presenting potential threats themselves. This ambivalence can be traced back through cultural deposits accumulated down the centuries - from political speeches and pedagogic tracts to folk-tales, children's fiction and visual art. Taken together, they present a continuum of oppositions in portrayals of the young that, in many respects, has remained remarkably consistent through time. As Chapter 2 showed, wide-eyed infants have repeatedly been distinguished from wild-eyed youths, girls from boys, middle-class from working-class (and underclass) kids and one's own from other people's. Moreover, a recurring undercurrent of all these antinomies has been an implicit moral distinction between 'worthy' and 'unworthy' children - and (more often than not) parents and families, too. The file for this record represents only a sample chapter from the whole work, which is available for purchase from the publisher.


MORRISON, J. 2016. Familiar strangers, juvenile panic and the British press: the decline of social trust. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan [online]. Available from:

Book Type Monograph
Online Publication Date Mar 23, 2016
Publication Date Mar 23, 2016
Deposit Date Aug 13, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 13, 2018
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature)
ISBN 9781137529947; 9781349708338
Keywords Journalism; Media and communication; Youth culture; Crime and society; Youth offending and juvenile justice; Media studies
Public URL
Additional Information The file accompanying this record represents a sample chapter extracted from the full book, which can be purchased from the Springer website:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations