Scroungers, spongers, parasites ... These are just are some of theterms that are typically used, with increasing frequency, to describe the mostvulnerable in our society, whether they be the sick, the disabled, or theunemployed.
Long a popular scapegoat for all manner of social ills, underausterity we've seen hostility towards benefit claimants reach new levels ofhysteria, with the `undeserving poor' blamed for everything from crime to evenrising levels of child abuse. While the tabloid press hasplayed its role in fuelling this hysteria, the proliferation of social mediahas added a disturbing new dimension to this process, spreading and reinforcingscare 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 theways in which the poor are portrayed both in print and online, placing theseattitudes in a wider breakdown of social trust and community cohesion.