Malin Holm defends her thesis 14 September


Malin Holm defends her thesis The Rise of Online Counterpublics? The Limits of Inclusion in a Digital Age on 14 September at 13:15 in Brusewitzsalen, Östra Ågatan 19.

Malin Holm 

The external reviewer is Elizabeth Evans, Senior Lecturer in Politics Senior Lecturer in Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London.

The members of the examination committee are Kristina Boréus, Professor at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, Ulf Bjereld, Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg and Hannah Bradby, Professor at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University.


The Limits of Inclusion in a Digital Age

The concept of counterpublics has been central to the feminist critique of classical public sphere theory for its lack of a power perspective, and the emergence of counterpublics has traditionally been understood as offering the possibility for historically marginalized groups to come together and challenge dominant public discourses. Recently, however, the rise of racist, antifeminist, and climate change denying counter-discourses online, promulgated by groups that claim to be marginalized from mainstream publics, raises new issues of how we can understand and analyze power and privilege in the public spheres. This book therefore shifts the analytical focus towards how online platforms mediate the reproduction of privilege in the context of counterpublic dynamics. How can the broader inclusion of (certain) counterpublics in the dominant public spheres through comment sections in mainstream news media be understood? How are privileged groups that are (or perceive themselves to be) politically marginalized from mainstream publics being provided with new opportunities to compete with historically marginalized groups for political influence? How are online platforms providing new opportunities to relationally privileged groups within counterpublics to hijack and distort public conversations? Through interviews with editors in Swedish mainstream news media and empirical analyses of antifeminist as well feminist counterpublics emerging online, this thesis demonstrates that while online platforms have provided traditionally marginalized groups with new possibilities to form counterpublics, these venues at the same time pose new challenges to their inclusion.

Full-text available on DiVA Open Access

Public Defences

Last modified: 2023-11-23