Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Hillary Potter, Ph.D.

Abstract

A great deal of research exists regarding terrorism and the various issues surrounding the phenomenon, however, the matter is relatively neglected in sociological research. This study provides a sociological perspective on terrorism, more specifically, the societal response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This study presents a theoretical perspective on the post 9/11 response with an emphasis on the media and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The theory established in this study, the Normative Tragedy Actuated Response, fundamentally opposes the moral panic theory, which scholars have recently applied to the 9/11 societal response. Data collection on the media response and the FBI reformation presents a compelling argument against the belief the 9/11 societal response was characteristic of a moral panic. This study provides a more comprehensive and accurate perspective on the matter and lays a foundation for future sociological research to build upon.

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