By Keith Tester
Routledge – 2013 – 126 pages
Impending environmental catastrophe, threat of terrorism, viruses both biological and virtual, disease: there seem to be so many reasons to panic today. But what is panic and why does it happen?
This book uses a range of literature from sociology, cultural studies and popular psychology to develop an original analysis of panic in contemporary social life. Bringing together academic literature from a range of disciplines, films, novels and current affairs, it encourages thought about why and how we panic – both individually and collectively. Keith Tester explores how cataclysmic events and smaller-scale episodes expose the fragility of our relationships, institutions and expectations. He shows how thinking about panic reveals key aspects of contemporary social, cultural and personal relationships.
Panic is a highly readable and incisive introduction to the subject for students, scholars and all those who want to know what panic means and why it is important.
Series editor’s preface. Introduction 1. Panic and Risk 2. Panic and Morality 3. Panic and Trust. Conclusion. Further Reading. References
Keith Tester is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hull and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds. This book builds on his research interests in the media, morality and critical cultural sociology. Previous books include Humanitarianism and Modern Culture (2010) and Compassion, Morality and the Media (2001).