Scrounger or benefit fraudster: an examination of DWP strategies to tackle benefit fraud and media reporting during the coalition Government

Walia, Gurpreet (2014) Scrounger or benefit fraudster: an examination of DWP strategies to tackle benefit fraud and media reporting during the coalition Government. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This research examines how the DWP and its predecessors have developed strategies to combat the threat of benefit fraud and how media reporting of benefit fraud has changed over time. It focuses on four newspaper titles for the period 2009-2013, the last year of the New Labour government though to the first years of the coalition Government, and examines what affect the change in government has had. The research scrutinised over 2700 articles to accomplish this to determine why benefit fraud was being reported and what types of frauds were being reported on.
    The research identified that it was the language and imagery being used that attempted to change people’s attitudes to benefit fraud, rather than the substance. As the coalition Government started making announcements about its welfare reform programme, the reporting correlated with reporting not only about welfare but also about benefit fraud. The research also identified that the negative language used by the Government, rather than the DWP, translated in to negative coverage about benefit recipients in general. It is suggested that this coverage has fed into established attitudes towards deserving and undeserving claimants and a blurring of the lines between benefit fraudsters and benefit scroungers.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2015 14:31
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2015 14:31
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/16892

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