Moral Panic, Deviant
Amplification of Deviance,
Books On Deviant Behavior
Moral entrepreneurs are those who construct deviance
in other words, they claim that a social phenomenon is a problem or that what is
generally recognized as a problem is serious enough to warrant immediate attention and/or
Moral entrepreneurship is the business of persuading the society to make
policy from particular moral viewpoints. In symbolic
interactionism (or labeling theory) social policy is
not seen as the implementation of a shared consensus about what is best. Rather the
society is viewed as consisting of a plurality of understandings of what is best.
The moral entrepreneurs try to create or enforce a norm for humanistic
A moral entrepreneur is a person who seeks to influence a group to adopt or
maintain a norm.
In order for social policy to arise, some individual or group has to initiate
a social movement whose task is to articulate a
definition of a social problem such that a desired
social policy is consistent with this definition of the problem.
These individual or groups are referred to as moral entrepreneurs. MADD
(Mothers Against Drunk Driving), the pro-life movement, the gun lobby, anti-pornography
groups, Emily Murphy, and the anti-tobacco lobby would all be examples of moral
"Moral Entrepreneurs: The Creation and Enforcement of Deviant
Categories" by Howard Becker exemplifies how deviance leads to social
control. He also shows how rule breakers evoke different responses from rule makers and
rule enforcers. Rule makers want to stop rule breaking, often for the rule makers' own
good. Rule enforcers, on the other hand, will make compromises with rule breakers in order
to make enforcing rules easier. A good example of this divergence between rule makers and
rule enforcers is the issue of televisions and weight rooms in prisons. The U.S. Congress
wants to remove them, while guards and wardens want to keep them. The legislators want to
publicly punish prisoners from afar, whereas guards and wardens have to work with those
prisoners. The prison staff uses television and weight rooms as rewards for cooperative
According to Becker, successful moral crusades are generally dominated by
those in the upper social strata of society. Becker suggests that there is political
competition in which these moral crusaders originate, crusades aimed at generating reform,
based on what they think is moral, therefore defining deviance. Moral crusaders must have
power, public support, generate public awareness of the issue, and be able to propose a
clear and acceptable solution to the problem.
Moral Entrepreneurship and International Crime
A critical step in the designation of any problem as serious enough to warrant criminal
sanctions is the emergence of "moral entrepreneurs" to crusade in behalf of such
a response. With international crime, the issue is more complicated in that the moral
entrepreneurship may be coming from outside the society targeted. As Blumer states,
"Intelligent observers, using the standards of one society, may perceive abiding
harmful conditions in another society that just do not appear as problems to the
membership of the latter society." As outsiders, those making claims about
transnational evils may be rejected. This often is the case with offenses such as money
laundering, arms trafficking, or illegal immigration as one society may be benefiting from
Multinational Enterprises as "Moral Entrepreneurs" in a
Global Prohibition Regime Against Corruption - Stephen Wrage, Alexandra Wrage -
International Studies Association.
ABSTRACT: This article explores the incentives and means multinational enterprises (MNEs)
may have to create a corruption-free business environment. It draws on Ethan Nadelmann's
(1990) article in International Organization, "Global Prohibition Regimes: The
Evolution of Norms in International Society" and discerns the emergence of such a
regime centered on bribe paying and bribe soliciting.
Merchants of Law as Moral Entrepreneurs: Constructing International
Justice from the Competition for Transnational Business Disputes - Yves Dezalay
and Bryant Garth
Over the past 20 years, international commercial arbitration has been transformed and
institutionalized as the leading contractual method for the resolution of transnational
commercial disputes. It has become an important institution of the growing international
market. Although the process is far from unidirectional, this work of social construction
can be described as a rationalization in the Weberian sense and also as an
"Americanization" that has permitted U.S. litigators to shape the rules to favor
their adversarial skills and approaches. An informal justice system has come increasingly
to resemble "off-shore litigation."
Drawing on Bourdieu's analytical tool of the legal "field" and, in particular,
using the notion of an "international legal field," this case study reveals how
the continuing competition for business and for legitimacy--between civil law and common
law, "grand old men" and "technocrats," academics and
practitioners--constructs and transforms the system of (international private) justice. As
is true generally with respect to law, the details of the competition serve to build the
careers of practitioners, to develop the area of practice, and to produce and legitimate
the relevant "law."
The New Moral Entrepreneurs: Corporate Crime Crusaders -
Susan P. Shapiro
Moral entrepreneurs and political economy: Historical and
ethnographic notes on the construction of the cocaine menace. - Journal: Crime,
Law and Social Change.
Moral Entrepreneurs and the Campaign to Ban Landmines.
Frank Faulkner, Editor: Rodopi - Data di Pubblicazione: April 2007
This work advances the proposition that traditional 'top down' politics is being
challenged by grass-roots, civil society based 'bottom up' politics in that most sensitive
areas, the national security/arms control dichotomy. The book uses the example of the
International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), that has succeeded in reversing or
altering the national policies on landmines in over 130 countries globally. The book cites
the efforts of what the author calls 'moral entrepreneurs', that is people who have
adopted the risk-taking characteristics of business and social leaders to bring this state
of affairs about. As a new polity that challenges old assumptions about the state's
preserve in matters of national security and moral force, the ICBL has set the benchmark
for a fresh, twenty-first century paradigm in arms control.
The Importance of Moral Entrepreneurs in Emerging Global Prohibition Regimes: The
Case of the United States - Miner, Jonathan - The Midwest Political Science
Abstract: This paper is an analysis of the post-9/11 response of American civil society. A
content analysis of the national debate over five international terror attacks
investigates the effectiveness of moral entrepreneurs in an emerging anti-terror regime.
Three "moral entrepreneurs" and the creation of a
"criminal class" in England - Philips, David. c.1790s-1840s'. Crime,
Histoire et Sociétés, 7:1 (2003), 79-107. ISSN 14220857.