Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Criminal Justice Sciences

First Advisor

Ralph A. Weisheit


The rise of tik (methamphetamine) in the Western Cape of South Africa was an issue of contention for government and health care officials. Tik is the label given to the homemade crystal methamphetamine in South Africa, and the primary substance of abuse for many addicts seeking help. This paper sets out to examine tik from a moral panic perspective to understand if tik is an actual threat or a moral panic phenomenon. Two prominent newspapers were examined using content analysis. The Cape Times and Cape Argus were sampled to understand the social construction of tik. A moral panic is simply an episode of widespread social fear, which is in disproportion to the actual threat. These episodes usually appear out of nowhere and fade just as quickly and require a mass media capable of supporting it. Measuring two indicators, hostility and disproportionality of the moral panic framework, and comparing the reporting of tik with empirical data, it was found that there is no evidence of a moral panic surrounding tik. The findings did not suggest hostility or disproportionality in terms of the media reporting.


Imported from ProQuest Keune_ilstu_0092N_10222.pdf


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