Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Human Communications

First Advisor

Christina R. Foust

Second Advisor

Hava Gordon

Third Advisor

Mary Claire Loftus

Keywords

Agency, Climate movement, Identity, Rhetoric, Social movement, Twitter

Abstract

Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg sat alone on the steps of the Swedish Parliament building in September of 2018, holding a bold black and white sign and demanding action be taken in the face of the climate crisis. Ever since, her activism and Twitter presence have sparked media attention, catalyzed youth activists globally to organize marches and strike from school, and have drawn critique. This thesis employs McKerrow’s (1989) critical rhetoric to uncover dominant discourses within tweets that undermine Thunberg based on identity and to explore the potential that Thunberg’s Twitter presence might or might not hold for future youth activist response to similar critique. I highlight implications of Thunberg’s Twitter presence on her own and other youth activist’s agency and on the collective identity of Fridays for Future, as well as pose questions that Thunberg’s Twitter presence raises for the potential of a more intersectional, networked youth climate movement.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Carina Robin Weadock

File size

177 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Communication

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