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Online Othering: Exploring Digital Violence and Discrimination on the Web.

Online Othering: Exploring Digital Violence and Discrimination on the Web. Edited book by Dr Karen Lumsden (Loughborough University) and Dr Emily Harmer (University of Liverpool) contracted by Palgrave Macmillan.


A new edited collection has been contracted by Palgrave Macmillan as part of their Cyber Crime series to be published in early 2019. 

The book explores the othering and discrimination propagated and encountered by individuals online and in social media contexts and cultures. It problematizes and analyses the dichotomy presented between real and virtual worlds (and spaces) by exploring the motivations behind certain offending and othering behaviours, and the impact this has on the targets of online abuse and hate speech. This includes the extent to which online othering constitutes a new phenomenon and how the motivations for committing forms of cyber-abuse, cyber-hate, and othering relate to the expression of these attitudes and behaviours in the offline context.

 It also explores the extent to which forms of information and communication technologies facilitate, exacerbate, and/or promote the enactment of traditional offline offences (such as domestic abuse and stalking). Finally, the collection addresses the role of the police and other agencies in terms of their interventions, and the regulation and governance of virtual space(s).

Contributions address the ways in which various groups and identities are subjected to othering in online environments, and those groups and cultures doing the othering. This includes examples from a variety of online media and mediums including news websites, social media platforms (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.), blogs, and forums such as Reddit and 4/Chan. Some contributions explore othering across multiple contexts. In addition, chapters cover historical and theoretical perspectives on online othering, empirical research using a variety of research methods, and also considerations of the implications for the regulation of the internet by police and prosecutors, policy and practice. Topics covered in the book include: trolling and gendered online abuse/harassment; sexting and revenge porn; the rise of the alt-right and Trumpism; men’s rights activists; cyber-stalking; online racism; transphobia; the policing and prosecution of online hate crime; and the dark web.


The book was developed from a one-day seminar on Online Othering, held at Loughborough University in April 2017 and funded through the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture. Contributors to the volume are from disciplines including sociology, communication and media studies, psychology, criminology, political studies, information science, and gender studies.