Honors College


Jenna L. Hoops

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



A moral panic is public opposition -- often highly emotional and morally charged -- to popular culture content distributed using a new form of mass communication. My thesis will be an analysis of commentary about the television show, Skins, which aired in 2011 on MTV. Opposition to the show focused on its portrayals of drug use, sexuality, and immoral behavior by actors under the age of 18. First, I will research the history of moral panics drawing on mass communication scholarship in order to identify the common aspects of media panics. Second, I will analyze commentary on the show Skins to determine the extent to which it incorporates the aspects of a moral panic. I will limit my analysis to commentary taken from major newspapers and web-based news sources during 2011. By way of conclusion, I will discuss the implications of this analysis for mass communication scholarship.