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The “Greta Effect” on Social Media: A Systematic Review of Research on Thunberg’s Impact on Digital Climate Change Communication


Mede, Niels G; Schroeder, Ralph (2024). The “Greta Effect” on Social Media: A Systematic Review of Research on Thunberg’s Impact on Digital Climate Change Communication. Environmental Communication:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Greta Thunberg is a major figure in climate change discourse, featuring prominently in the news and social media. Many studies analyzed the “Greta effect,” but there has not been a review that integrates the diverse literature and consolidates insights into her impact on social media. We provide such a synthesis with a narrative review of 63 peer-reviewed publications that gauged social media reactions to her from different disciplinary perspectives, with various methods, and across a range of contexts. We show how social media have both helped Thunberg mobilize her supporters and harbored backlash from her enemies. This twofold effect varies across different contexts. Yet a comprehensive assessment of the “Greta effect” remains elusive since Thunberg borrows from different kinds of activism but does not neatly fit into any of them. Our review shows how social media have become the most important terrain for contestation around climate change.

Abstract

Greta Thunberg is a major figure in climate change discourse, featuring prominently in the news and social media. Many studies analyzed the “Greta effect,” but there has not been a review that integrates the diverse literature and consolidates insights into her impact on social media. We provide such a synthesis with a narrative review of 63 peer-reviewed publications that gauged social media reactions to her from different disciplinary perspectives, with various methods, and across a range of contexts. We show how social media have both helped Thunberg mobilize her supporters and harbored backlash from her enemies. This twofold effect varies across different contexts. Yet a comprehensive assessment of the “Greta effect” remains elusive since Thunberg borrows from different kinds of activism but does not neatly fit into any of them. Our review shows how social media have become the most important terrain for contestation around climate change.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Physical Sciences > Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Greta Thunberg, social media, climate change, activism, review
Language:English
Date:12 February 2024
Deposited On:14 Mar 2024 18:16
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 03:41
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1752-4032
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2024.2314028
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)