The issues concerning moral panics and music subcultures have often been overblown in the press coverage in Malaysia. Various models have been adopted by the authorities via the press to put a face on these so-called moral panics by appropriating the fashion and styles of music subcultures. Western popular culture has often had a volatile relationship notably with conservative, religious societies (even more so in non-Western countries) and the controversy surrounding the introduction of each popular medium frequently represented a form of moral panic (Shuker 2001, p. 16). From the mid to the late 1990s, music genres such as rap, hip-hop, heavy metal and punk have taken the center stage of personifying the rhetoric concerning ‘social problems regarding the nation’s youth’. In light of the country's current increasing conservatism, shaky political hegemony, and religious and racial rhetoric in the mainstream media, the 2001 moral panic which resulted in the so-called ‘Black Metal crackdown’ serves as an instrumental case study on how the religious model reporting style and mediated moral panics is exercised in Malaysia.
Azmyl Yusof, Sunway University, Malaysia
Stream: Mass Communication
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