A short history of hooligan panics
Fears about knife crime, gang culture and ‘the broken society’ are today’s big news, yet they might seem vaguely familiar - read Mick Hume in The Times.
Tuesday 22 July:
‘Politicians claim that we live in a “broken society” and compete to take a hard line on knife crime; a police chief says that gang life is replacing family; many want some form of national service. Debate rages about what caused this breakdown of civilised values – too little parental discipline or punishment, too much easy money or media violence? But all seem to agree that things ain’t what they used to be
‘Well, perhaps. Yet some things do seem familiar. Geoffrey Pearson’s classic Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears argued 25 years ago that “successive generations have voiced identical fears of social breakdown and moral degeneration”. Thanks to The Times archive, we can all now see if he was right…’
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