In his new book ‘Hysteria: Crime, Media and Politics’, Marc Schuilenburg argues that our societies are characterized by a moral overdrive. From the worldwide run on toilet paper to cope with coronavirus fears to the overheated discussions on Facebook and Twitter about immigration and overwrought reactions to the levels of crime around us, we live in a culture of hysteria. While hysteria is typically discussed in emotional terms – as an obstacle to be overcome – it nevertheless has very real consequences in everyday life. Irritating though this may be, hysteria needs to be taken seriously, for what it tells us about our society and way of life.
What makes hysteria pop up in different locations time and again, and why are people gripped so quickly by the sudden excitement and excessive emotions it causes? How to counter hysteria? What roles do politicians and social media take in spreading or calming down hysteria? In short, what can you do in a world where the facts are hysterical?
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