Title A ghost in the machine: Tracing the role of "the digital' in discursive processes of cybervictimisation      
Author Simon Lindgren
Date 2018-11-20 Hit 48

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Title: A ghost in the machine: Tracing the role of "the digital' in discursive processes of cybervictimisation


Authors: Simon Lindgren


Date: October 2018


Abstract: 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.


DOI:  10.1177/1750481318766936


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