Scroungers: Moral Panics and Media Myths



Morrison J (2019) Scroungers PDF. London: Zed Books (Bloomsbury).

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.

Publication date15/02/2019
Publication date online15/02/2019
PublisherZed Books (Bloomsbury)
Publisher URL
Place of publicationLondon

People (1)


Dr James Morrison

Dr James Morrison

Associate Prof. in Journalism, Communications, Media and Culture