Extremely Frank

September 23, 2005

Is Frank Furedi having a laugh ("Be afraid, be very afraid ... no don't", September 16)?

He claims "fear entrepreneurs" are playing fast and loose with evidence and analysis, constructing exaggerated dangers, encouraging unwarranted fear and thereby boosting their academic profiles.

What then are we to make of those commentators (such as Furedi) who select extreme cases to encourage a moral panic over the supposedly pervasive spread of moral panics? Do such commentators not disappear up their own analysis?

Matthew David
Department of sociology, social policy and social work studies, Liverpool University

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