International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 321

Full Length Research Paper

Moral panic and social order: Analysis of Akwa Ibom street children

Lydia Isioma Chineyemba
  • Lydia Isioma Chineyemba
  • Department of Criminology and Security Studies, College of Arts, Management and Social Sciences, Chrisland University Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Accepted: 26 February 2020
  •  Published: 30 April 2020


The incidence of street children around the world had raised concern about social order. Scholars have paid attention to socioeconomic and psychological implications ignoring the cultural dynamics that contribute to this development. This paper focuses on a category of street children in Akwa-Ibom state of Nigeria. They are the child-witches, thrown to the street due to witchcraft label masterminded by parents and pastors. Structural functionalist and Moral Panics theories were adopted. Focused group, participant observation, key informants, and in-depth interviews, as well as narrative analysis were employed. The paper revealed that while the phenomenon of street children in Akwa Ibom portrayed moral panic, Eket people, conceive behaviours that violate norms as a threat to social order, and consequently sanctioned. It recommends that parents should inculcate societal norms and values to their children. It concludes that the extremity of the sanction and the paradoxical presence of children on the street is an aberration of order. 


Key words: Social order, Akwa Ibom street children, moral panic.