Online Hate Crime : Social Norms and the Legal System

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Online Hate Crime : Social Norms and the Legal System

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Online Hate Crime : Social Norms and the Legal System
Author(s) Wigerfelt, Anders S ; Berit, Wigerfelt ; Karl, Dahlstrand
Date 2015
English abstract
A central point of departure for this socio-legal study about online hate crimes concerns the significance of analysing and understanding social norms in relation to these crimes on the Internet. This is of importance not least when one approaches the issue of how law and the legal system may contribute towards positive developments in this field and prevent hate crimes. It is apparent that law and social norms function concurrently in influencing behaviours. On the one hand, social norms have a strong impact on how law is formulated due to law typically being shaped to reflect the morals and values in society. On the other hand, the reverse effect can also play an important role: When law leads and paves the way for changed behaviours, it may in time produce changes in social norms. People tend to revaluate their views of right and wrong and adapt their values towards legally advocated behaviour. People also tend to make demands of their social environment in a manner that coincides with legally grounded values. Through clear legal signals, processes are initiated that have the potential, in time, to lead to changed social norms. People must, then, not only consider the legally constructed risk involved in being caught, sentenced and punished, we must also relate to the risk of being condemned by our fellow citizens. The empirical study is made in Sweden and the article present the Swedish legal and social context related to different hate crimes and how these phenomena are perceived among Swedish Internet users.
DOI http/dx.doi.org/10.12957/rqi.2015 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Faculdade de Direito
Host/Issue Quaestio Iuris;3
Volume 8
ISSN 1516-0351
Pages 1859-1878
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Hate Crime
Social Norms
Legal system
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/19680 (link to this page)

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