← Volume 12: Challenges and Perspectives of Hate Speech Research


Hate and Harm

Lena Frischlich

Berlin, 2023
DOI 10.48541/dcr.v12.10 (SSOAR)

Abstract: From a psychological point of view, hate speech can be conceptualized as harmful intergroup communication. In contrast to other forms of incivility, hate speech is directed toward individuals because of their (perceived) social identity. This explains why the harm of hate speech can extend to entire social groups and societies. Hate speech therefore cannot be separated from pre-existing power structures and resource inequalities, as its harm is particularly severe when coping resources are already deprived. Psychological research on the perpetrators of hate speech links hate speech to a lack of empathy and the acceptance of, or even desire for social inequalities. In summary, hate speech jars the norms of democratic discourses by denying fellow humans basic respect and violating the democratic minimal consent of human equality. Overall, the chapter demonstrates the usefulness of a (social) psychological perspective on the harms of hate speech for both researchers and practitioners.


Lena Frischlich is a junior research group leader at the University of Münster, Germany. ORCID logo

Frischlich, L. (2023). Hate and harm. In C. Strippel, S. Paasch-Colberg, M. Emmer, & J. Trebbe (Eds.), Challenges and perspectives of hate speech research (pp. 165–183). Digital Communication Research. https://doi.org/10.48541/dcr.v12.10

This book is published open access and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0).
The persistent long-term archiving of this book is carried out with the help of the Social Science Open Access Repository and the university library of Freie Universität Berlin (Refubium).