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A ghost in the machine: tracing the role of "the digital' in discursive processes of cybervictimisation
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6289-9427
2018 (English)In: Discourse & Communication, ISSN 1750-4813, E-ISSN 1750-4821, Vol. 12, no 5, p. 517-534Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study of discursive understandings of cybervictimisation draws on a dataset of crime news reporting and asks the question of if and how cybervictimisation is construed in ways that differ from other types of (non-digital) victimisation. Building on a critical discourse perspective employing corpus-based text analysis methods, the composition of news discourses about cybervictimisation are analysed, alongside the relationship between such representations and news media discourse on crime victimisation generally. The aim is to see what effect the presence of a digital dimension has for how the notion of victimisation is socially and culturally understood. The study shows, first, that news reporting on cybervictimisation has a strong bias towards crimes that fit well with the notion of the ideal victim' (such as sexual victimisation and bullying) while excluding other types like hacking and identity theft. The question is raised whether victim' discourse is able to account for the latter types or if new understandings and concepts will emerge. Second, the study shows that discourses promoting understandings of technology as contributing to amplifying danger, and that represent technology as potentially undermining social order, are strong in cybervictimisation news reports. These discourses are consequential for who is seen as a legitimate victim and not. Just as it can be very difficult to identify and apprehend perpetrators of cybercrime, so is also the identification and definition of cybervictims ambiguous and demands to be further researched.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018. Vol. 12, no 5, p. 517-534
Keywords [en]
Internet, victimisation, topic modelling, CDS
National Category
Communication Studies Law and Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152193DOI: 10.1177/1750481318766936ISI: 000443973600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152193DiVA, id: diva2:1259945
Available from: 2018-10-31 Created: 2018-10-31 Last updated: 2018-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren, Simon

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  • apa
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