‘Wicked’, ‘deceptive’, and ‘blood sucking’: Cyberbullying against social workers in Israel as claims-making activity

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This study analyses verbal aggression in cyberbullying against social workers in Israel. Given the particular nature of this type of aggressive behaviour, namely its repeated and public dimensions, the study focuses on the content of offensive messages. Drawing on examples from multiple anti-social workers’ weblogs and Facebook pages, the study employs constructionist social problems methodology in order to extract the logical structure of anti-social workers’ discourse as claims-making activity. The analysis demonstrates that, far from constituting isolated or momentary outbursts of anger or frustration, cyberbullying against social workers contains messages which share similarities in content and style, comprise a persistent set of claims against social workers and employ rhetorical means in order to enhance public support. The article holds that understanding the specificity and content of offensive messages against social workers in new-media saturated societies is crucial for understanding current shifts in social workers’ conflict environment and the formation of public opinion concerning social workers and social services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-794
Number of pages17
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Violence
  • cyberbullying
  • discourse
  • social services
  • social work practice
  • verbal aggression


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