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Karl Dahlstrand

Karl Dahlstrand

Senior lecturer

Karl Dahlstrand

ONLINE HATE CRIME – SOCIAL NORMS AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM

Author

  • Karl Dahlstrand
  • Berit Wigerfelt
  • Anders Wigerfelt

Summary, in English

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.

Department/s

  • Department of Sociology of Law

Publishing year

2015

Language

English

Pages

1859-1878

Publication/Series

Quaestio Iuris

Volume

8

Issue

3

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)

Topic

  • Law and Society

Keywords

  • Social norms
  • Hate crimes
  • Socio-legal
  • Swedish Internet users
  • Legal system.

Status

Published

Project

  • Kränkningar i en digital kontext

Research group

  • Cybernorms

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1516-0351