This paper discussed three different studies The Media: Shaping Our Understanding of Crime, Missing Children, Misleading Statistics by Joel Best and Rhetoric in Claims-Making by Joel Best. The studies explain that moral panic is the situation created by the claim makers by exaggerating the situation and creating a perceived social problem. Paper further discusses that “missing children” problem is socially constructed by the claim makers, media and crusaders. The social reaction towards such problem makes it moral panic among the public.
However, the claims made have little to do with reality. Missing children is associated with children abduction and displayed in a very complex social situation. Paper discusses the problem of missing children and its social reaction in context to elite engineered theory. The moral panic is engineered by media and claim makers and often the parents of those children who are abducted or killed. However, the concept of moral panic lacks theoretical grounding in terms of “missing children” problem.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss that how the problem of missing children has led to moral panic and how the missing children statistics are mainly socially constructed by mass media.