Summary of an article;Ba rry Glass ner Narrative Techni ues oq fFea r Mon eri n 9 9

Summary of an article;Ba rry Glass ner Narrative Techni ues oq fFea r Mon eri n 9 9

Ba rry Glass ner
Narrative Techni ues o
q f

Fea r Mon eri n

9 9
amsalcsus LIva m rsanars THE sarasr TIME IN HUMAN HISTDRY, so
how has it come about that there are so many fears and scares in the air,
and so many of them are unfounded? Why, as crime rates plunged over
the past decade, did substantial numbers of Americans say in surveys that
they believe the crime rate is rising or remaining stead}? Why, despite
numerous studies showing that the number of drug users declined
substantially during past two decades, did large numbers of Americans
rank drug use as the greatest danger to America‘s youth? Why, at a time
when most Americans are living longer and healthier, do many people
feel they are at great risk of early death from obscure disorders?

1 suggest that the answer to these and related questions lies, in
large measure, in the immense power and money that await individu-
als and organizations who can tap into Americans’ moral insecurities
for their own benefit. By fear mongering, politicians sell themselves
to voters, TV and print newsmagaaines sell themselves to viewers and
readers. advocacy groups sell memberships. quacks sell treatments,
lawyers sell class-action lawsuits, and corporations sell consumer prod-
ucts. A particularly illustrative current example of the last of these is
the highly successful marketing of antibaCterial soaps, which tend to
be more expensive than conventional soaps, confer no greater protec-
tion in normal household settings, and may well contribute to the
emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria,

Much of the answer to why there are so many misbegotten fears
in the air resides in how fear mongers sell their scares. In no small

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