Scroungers, spongers, parasites … These are just are some of the terms that are typically used, with increasing frequency, to describe the most vulnerable in our society, whether they be the sick, the disabled, or the unemployed. Long a popular scapegoat for all manner of social ills, under austerity we’ve seen hostility towards benefit claimants reach new levels of hysteria, with the ‘undeserving poor’ blamed for everything from crime to even rising levels of child abuse. While the tabloid press has played its role in fuelling this hysteria, the proliferation of social media has added a disturbing new dimension to this process, spreading and reinforcing scare stories, while normalising the perception of poverty as a form of ‘deviancy’ that runs contrary to the neoliberal agenda. Provocative and illuminating, Scroungers explores and analyses the ways in which the poor are portrayed both in print and online, placing these attitudes in a wider breakdown of social trust and community cohesion.
Les mer
An examination of the disturbing rise of 'scrounger-phobia' in the media and society at large, and how this has fuelled popular hostility towards benefit claimants.
Introduction: Scroungerphobia Revisited: Shirker-Bashing and Feral Freak-Shows 1. Moral Panics, Scapegoating and the Persistence of Pauper Folk-Devils 2. Problem Families and ‘The Workless’: The Rhetorical Roots of Shirkerphobia 3. Framing the Poor: Images of Welfare and Poverty in Today’s Press 4. Deliberating Deservingness: The Public’s Role in Constructing Scroungers 5. Incidental Scroungers: Normalizing Anti-Welfarism in Wider Press Narratives Conclusion: From Division to Unity: A Manifesto for Rebuilding Trust Appendix 1: Framing Analysis Methodology Appendix 2: Sentiment Analysis Methodology
Les mer
Scroungers makes many salient and persuasive arguments, most notably regarding the incompatibility between the abstract fetishisation of work and the grim reality of neoliberal Britain.
An examination of the disturbing rise of 'scrounger-phobia' in the media and society at large, and how this has fuelled popular hostility towards benefit claimants.
With popular hysteria around benefit ‘scroungers’ reaching new heights as a result of ongoing austerity, this book offers a timely analysis of the roots of this hysteria.


Zed Books Ltd
364 gr
216 mm
135 mm
U, 05
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Product format
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Om bidragsyterne

James Morrison is a reader in journalism at Robert Gordon University, UK as well as a senior examiner for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). Before entering academia he spent over a decade as a staff reporter for newspapers including the Independent on Sunday as well as working as a freelance writer for publications including the Guardian. His previous books include Familiar Strangers, Juvenile Panic and the British Press: The Decline of Social Trust (2016), Journalism: The Essentials of Writing and Reporting (2015) and Essential Public Affairs for Journalists (2009).