Fear Mongering Sample Essay Paper

Fear Mongering Sample Essay Paper.

Fear Mongering Sample Essay Paper

Category: Sociology

The paper MUST be written in ASA style (typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 8-12 point font, Title page, abstract page, and a reference list at the end). INCLUDE IN-TEXT CITATIONS.

The paper should also be divided into these subheadings:

1. Summary: (Summarize the articles main points and ideas)

2. Relevancy: (How does this article relate to the class by incorporating lecture notes and the text in the analysis)

3. Analysis: (How does this article relate to the understanding of society at the Miroc, Macro, and Mezo level)

4. Critique: (What are some criticisms of the article? What did it get “right” in your opinion and where was it lacking?

Attached is the article for in-text citations and extra course materials to include within the relevancy portion.

This is optional but here are a couple of things that you should think about while reading

1) Glassner states “Panic driven public spending generates, over the long term, a pathology akin to drug addicts. While Glassner was mainly talking about spending on bills and the formation of public policy; there is a relationship between the level of fear people have and the amount of consumerism

– The connection between fear and consumerism is simple: when we are afraid we purchase goods and services to try and assuage those fears by the means of:

Security: locks, home security systems, car alarms, weapons for home defense, storage units, safety deposit boxes.

Escape: vacations, food, entertainment, and other products that focus on the removal from real life (even though real life has become increasingly superficial because of consumerism)

Panic and fear become a part of our culture when news reporting turns into fear mongering instead of coming up with solutions

2) Pay close attention to the Three Specific Techniques of Fear Mongering (Repetition, Isolated Incidents as trends, and Misdirection). What is the purpose in creating a panic driven public? Can you see this happening in various forms today?

Requirements: ~2 pages  

I just want to emphasize the ASA writing style! It is two pages not including the title page but he’s just super particular on this. Do I need to clarify what Macro, Micro, and Mezo is in sociology?

Fear Mongering

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation


Every Society has its preferred norms and values upon which the social order is based. These norms and values are closely linked to the hopes and fears of the population. Therefore, any threat to them is a threat to life as the people know it to be. Thus, the narratives that are created and consistently sustained by the media and other centers of public influence on perceived threats have the potential to shape Society’s perceptions and behaviors. This paper analyzes Barry Glassner’s article on the techniques that self-seeking individuals and institutions employ to create fear to illustrate how misleading information negatively impacts Society. In his article, Glassner traces how the American media and some political personalities sensationally have used the isolated cases of school shootings to influence legislative and budgetary decisions. Although he does not investigate the factors that lead to teenage shooting, Glassner’s analysis concludes that partisan reporting and mass distribution of information ultimately derails the progress of Society. 

Fear mongering

A society is influenced by its widely embraced beliefs and perceptions. When exaggerated views are publicized as the truth, people are controlled by fear more than by what is true. This paper analyzes Barry Glassner’s article on the techniques that are in such fear-mongering.


Glassner suggests that American Society is negatively shaped by deliberately misleading information that targets their inner fears and insecurities. When the crime rate, the abuse of drugs and substances, and the probability for early deaths have significantly reduced, people believe and act as if the opposite were the case (Glassner, 2004, p. 819). Glassner blames the heavily marketed and financed fear-based campaigns by individuals and institutions that seek to benefit from the moral fears and insecurities of the people. These campaigns employ both voluminous dispensing of misleading information and narrative techniques that influence public perception and reasoning.  Glassner believes that the branding of isolated events as trends may be the most commonly used to sway public perception and behavior (Glassner, 2004, p. 820). An example are the incidents of school shootings which have been used to create the perception of there being juvenile murderers everywhere in the school system. Misdirection is also used to divert people from other pressing matters or alternative perspectives on the issue at hand. The created narrative is repeated until people feel a compulsive urgency to respond.


Glassner’s article is relevant in that it sheds light on some aspects of social control. People look up to the existing legal and political structures for their safety and to maintain the norms that guide their Society. Therefore, it is expected that there will be a strong and widespread response when either the safety or the social norms are threatened or reported to be in danger. The individuals and institutions that would like to use this societal reality for their benefit only need to create a sense of danger to manipulate people. Politicians will appeal to the people’s fears to sell themselves as the timely solution, media houses will capitalize on narratives to get more audience, and enterprising people will seek more market for their products and services through manipulative information (Glassner, 2004, p. 819). Instances of deviance and crime with the potential to disrupt social orders create the perfect environment for such manipulative schemes.


The article is an excellent analysis of how the behaviors of individuals and institutions can affect Society at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Glassner observes that most of the incidents of school shootings in America have been local and isolated. And while most of the media analysis blamed an imagined national epidemic of juvenile murders, Glassner thinks that the problem started with the availability of guns to those who were unfit to have them (Glassner, 2004, p. 822). Although the incidents had been amplified to create the sense of a national crisis, individual decisions to own weapons were initially to blame. These individual decisions led to local crises as the horror of school shootings struck communities.

Decisions at the institutional level can impact Society at the macro level. The media decided to report the shootings in a sensational manner that fueled the altering of the legislative and budgeting efforts of the country (Glassner, 2004, p. 826). The statements from individual politicians also added weight to the regulative and budgeting direction of the nation. With these examples, Glassner succeeds in showing that choices at the individual and institutional levels can potentially impact life at local, national, and international levels.


Reading Glassner’s article, I thought that he accurately captured the social dynamics that impact Society. His objective analysis of the social statistics, contrasted with the media’s reporting to create preferred narratives, well-illustrated the techniques used in fear-mongering. I also appreciated Glassner’s focus on the social sectors that suffered from the misdirection of public perception and opinion. I, however, felt that he glossed over the deviant behavior of the teenagers that led to the school shootings. I thought that the incidences, though isolated, are weighty enough to warrant a more in-depth analysis of why they occurred in the first place.


Information is powerful. Therefore, the individuals and institutions responsible for its dissemination to the public ought to exercise extra caution and responsibility in ensuring that they approach all issues from an objective and balanced angle. Without such care, Society will keep on being manipulated by the hidden agenda of a select few.


Glassner, B. (2004). Narrative techniques of fear mongering. Social Research: An International Quarterly, 71(4), 819-826.

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