Dead White men vs. Greta Thunberg: Nationalism, Misogyny, and Climate Change Denial in Swedish far-right Digital Media
Journal article, 2021

In the autumn of 2018 Greta Thunberg started her school strike. Soon she and the Fridays For Future-movement rose to world-fame, stirring a backlash laying bare the intrinsic climate change denial of Swedish far-right digital media. These outlets had previously been almost silent on climate change, but in 2019, four of the ten most read articles on the site Samhällsnytt were about Thunberg, all of them discrediting the movement and spreading doubt about climate science. Using the conceptualisation of industrial/breadwinner masculinities as developed by Hultman and Pulé [2018. Ecological Masculinities: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Guidance. Routledge Studies in Gender and Environments. New York: Routledge], this article analyses what provoked this reaction. It explores how the hostility to Thunberg was constructed in far-right media discourse in the years 2018–2019, when she became a threat to an imagined industrial, homogenic and patriarchal community. Using conspiracy theories and historical tropes of irrational femininity, the far right was trying to protect the usually hidden environmental privileges, related to unequal carbon emissions and resource use, that Thunberg and her movement made visible.

carbon inequality

conspiracy theories

environmental privileges

Alternative media

critical discourse analysis

industrial/ breadwinner masculinities


Kjell Vowles

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Martin Hultman

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Australian Feminist Studies

0816-4649 (ISSN) 1465-3303 (eISSN)

Vol. 36 110 414-431

Why is not climate science taken for real? Studies of climate change denialism

Formas (2018-00417), 2018-07-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Swedish Energy Agency (46178-1), 2018-07-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Subject Categories

Gender Studies

History of Ideas

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Media Studies

Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


Areas of Advance




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