Title

One percent motorcycle clubs: Has the media constructed a moral panic in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia?

Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Criminal Justice

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Dr Ann-Claire Larsen

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate an instrument designed to assess the influence of the media on opinions regarding the one percent motorcycle clubs in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, establishing whether the media had incited a moral panic towards the clubs. The concept of the moral panic, developed by Stanley Cohen iii ( 1972), is the widespread fear towards a social group by events that are overrepresented and exaggerated. Exploring the concept of a moral panic towards the one percent sub-culture, this study compares the perceptions from two groups of non-members in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. One group of participants had interacted with club members (n =13); the other had no direct contact with club members and identified themselves as basing their opinions towards the clubs on information from the media (n =13). It was hypothesised that the two patticipant groups would differ on their opinions regarding the clubs' autonomy, brotherhood, the righteous biker model, and the perceived image of one percent members. Participants were requested to complete the Perception of the One Percent Motorcycle Sub-culture Questionnaire. Quantitative data were analysed using the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test. The findings suggest little differences between the groups, indicating a moral panic towards one percent motorcycle clubs has not been identified by the instrument. Recommendations for improvement in the research design for a comprehensive study include modification to sampling techniques, Likert scales and analysis techniques. Further research is required to validate the present findings.

LCSH Subject Headings

Edith Cowan University. Faculty of Business and Law -- Dissertations

Motorcycle clubs -- Western Australia -- Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Moral panics -- Western Australia

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