Stanley Cohen

Stanley Cohen was among the most respected figures in post-war British sociology and criminology, whose long and distinguished career included periods at the University of Essex and the LSE. He came to prominence in the early 1970s with the publication of his classic sociological study Folk Devils and Moral Panic, an examination of the ‘Mods and Rockers’ phenomenon of the 1960s that provided seminal insights into the study of social deviance, the media and the concept of the ‘moral panic’. His thought was also consistently concerned with how humans manage, and sometimes mismanage, their emotions, a theme explored in early work such as Psychological Survival, but perhaps most famously in one of his last books, States of Denial, winner of the British Academy Book Prize in 2002, which brilliantly explored the personal and social mechanisms that allow people to refuse to acknowledge reality. Polity has published both States of Denial and Cohen’s Visions of Social Control.