Workplace violence: A threat to autonomy and professional discretion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although many theories have been developed and a great amount of research has been conducted on autonomy and professional discretion, knowledge on the extent to which fear of being subjected to workplace violence might restrict such autonomy and professional discretion being used is limited. This article draws on a survey study (N=1,236) and compares the experiences of workplace violence of Swedish social workers, teachers and journalists. The aim of the article is to determine how digitalisation could be linked to workplace violence and also determine the extent to which workplace violence could affect the autonomy and professional discretion of these professional groups and prevent them from carrying out their democratic role. The results show the differences regarding where and how these professionals received threats and provides an alarming picture of the implications of such threats. 40% of the respondents had considered stopping working on a specific social problem, topic, target group, or task due to their fear of being subjected to hate, threats and harassment.
Translated title of the contributionArbetsrelaterat våld: Ett hot mot professionellas autonomi och handlingsutrymme
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-270
Number of pages21
JournalSociologisk Forskning
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 21

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Social Sciences

Free keywords

  • journalists
  • professional discretion
  • social workers
  • teachers
  • workplace violence
  • democracy


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