TOBY MILLER IS PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, SOCIOLOGY, AND WOMEN’S STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE. HE IS THE AUTHOR AND EDITOR OF OVER TWENTY VOLUMES ACROSS CULTURAL AND MEDIA STUDIES AND CURRENTLY EDITS THE JOURNALS TELEVISION & NEW MEDIA AND SOCIAL IDENTITIES. HIS LAST BOOK WAS GLOBAL HOLLYWOOD 2 (BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE 2005) AND HIS NEXT WILL BE CULTURAL CITIZENSHIP.
This essay examines risk society and moral panic as tools for analyzing the irrationality of the contemporary US, and applies them to the construction of young people as a social problem. Although today’s risk society and moral panic are closely tied to the current economic crisis, I argue that youth has long been a key site for understanding US anxieties.