Child Grooming and Sexual Exploitation: Are South Asian Men the UK Media’s New Folk Devils?

Gill, Aisha K and Harrison, Karen (2015) Child Grooming and Sexual Exploitation: Are South Asian Men the UK Media’s New Folk Devils? International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 4 (2). ISSN 2202-8005

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.v4i2.214

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Child Grooming and Sexual Exploitation: Are South Asian Men the UK Media’s New Folk Devils?
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Abstract

In May 2012, nine men from the Rochdale area of Manchester were found guilty of sexually exploiting a number of underage girls. Media reporting on the trial focused on the fact that eight of the men were of Pakistani descent, while all the girls were white. Framing similar cases in Preston, Rotherham, Derby, Shropshire, Oxford, Telford and Middlesbrough as ethnically motivated, the media incited moral panic over South Asian grooming gangs preying on white girls. While these cases shed light on the broader problem of sexual exploitation in Britain, they also reveal continuing misconceptions that stereotype South Asian men as ‘natural’ perpetrators of these crimes due to culturally-specific notions of hegemonic masculinity. Examining newspaper coverage from 2012 to 2013, this article discusses the discourse of the British media’s portrayal of South Asian men as perpetrators of sexual violence against white victims, inadvertently construing ‘South Asian men’ as ‘folk devils’.

Keywords:Folk devils, masculinity, media representations, moral panic, sexual exploitation, South Asian men
Subjects:M Law > M990 Law not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:41978
Deposited On:11 Aug 2020 10:04

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