The power of being heard: How claims against racism are constructed, spread and listened to in a hybrid media environment

Camilla Haavisto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Although Paul Gilroy (1992) wrote about the “end of anti-racism” already in the early 1990s, recently, technological development in the media, and in social media in particular, has offered new methods for participation and activism. This type of anti-racism, which is rooted in civil society, seemingly occurs spontaneously, and is mainly performed in various online forums, currently seems to be on the rise in Finland and Sweden. However, due to phenomena such as clicktivism and slacktivism (Morozov, 2009), there is no guarantee that increased activity (such as liking and sharing media texts) contributes to new spaces for the construction of inclusive anti-racist communities in which politically and socially challenging agency can take form. The starting point for this chapter is that hybridization processes in contemporary media spheres, together with the growth of neo-conservative and xenophobic movements across Europe and a general tendency to understand radical anti-racism within a framework of political extremism, have created new conditions for claims-making against racism. Drawing on the politics of listening (Bassel 2017; Dreher, 2009) and political claims-making theory (Koopmans et al., 2005), this chapter focuses on four mediated events of racism and racialization in Helsinki and Malmö—two urban milieus marked by different historical, demographic, social, and political realities. By examining the content and circulation of claims against racism as well as the responses to such claims, and by showing the value of political listening in the analysis of debates on racism, the chapter examines how some events develop into “critical events” while others do not.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationRacialization, Racism, and Anti-Racism in the Nordic Countries
EditorsPeter Hervik
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-74630-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-74629-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

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