News media representations of people receiving income support and the production of stigma power : An empirical analysis of reporting on two Australian welfare payments

Journal article


Martin, Sonia, Schofield, Timothy and Butterworth, Peter. (2022). News media representations of people receiving income support and the production of stigma power : An empirical analysis of reporting on two Australian welfare payments. Critical Social Policy. 42(4), pp. 648-670. https://doi.org/10.1177/02610183211073945
AuthorsMartin, Sonia, Schofield, Timothy and Butterworth, Peter
Abstract

People receiving working-age income support payments are often stigmatised as morally and/or behaviourally deficient. We consider the role of the media, as a potential source of structural stigma, in perpetuating negative characterisations of people in receipt of either the Disability Support Pension (DSP) or unemployment benefits (Newstart) during a major period of welfare reform in Australia. Newspaper articles (N = 8290) that appeared in Australia’s five largest newspapers between 2001 and 2016, and referenced either payment were analysed. We found an increased use of fraud language associated with the DSP, which coincides with increased political and policy focus on this payment. We conclude that in a period of increasing political concern with welfare reform, media coverage of welfare recipients is a form of stigma power, acting discursively as symbolic violence.

Keywordsfraud; news media; stigma; symbolic violence; welfare
Year2022
JournalCritical Social Policy
Journal citation42 (4), pp. 648-670
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN0261-0183
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/02610183211073945
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85124297451
Page range648-670
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online03 Feb 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Aug 2023
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDDP160104178
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8z898/news-media-representations-of-people-receiving-income-support-and-the-production-of-stigma-power-an-empirical-analysis-of-reporting-on-two-australian-welfare-payments

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