On Folk Devils, Moral Panics and New Wave Public Health

Document Type: Editorial

Authors

1 Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

2 Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK

Abstract

New wave public health places an emphasis on exhorting individuals to engage in healthy behaviour with good health being a signifier of virtuous moral standing, whereas poor health is often associated with personal moral failings. In effect, the medical is increasingly being collapsed into the moral. This approach is consistent with other aspects of contemporary neoliberal governance, but it fuels moral panics and creates folk devils. We explore the implications and dysfunctional consequences of this new wave of public health policy in the context of the latest moral panic around obesity.

Keywords

Main Subjects


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