#Metoo as a critical incident: voices, silencing and reckoning in Denmark and Sweden

Jannie Møller Hartley, Tina Askanius

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


This chapter examines the experience of reporting on and advocating around the #metoo movement in Den-mark and Sweden; two Scandinavian countries ranked among the most gender equal societies in the world. The #metoo debates, however, developed in markedly different directions and over different time trajectories. Using the metaphor of ‘voice(s)’ the analysis examines #metoo as a critical incident asking: what voices were heard, silenced and personalized to represent voices of different groups during the four years following the initial #me-too debate? How was the why’s and how’s re-negotiated in the post-metoo era? We do so by drawing on a mixed method approach, drawing on quantitative and qualitative content analysis, in-depth interviews with journalists, NGO and activists in both countries (n=20), participant observations from #metoo events and our own partic-ipation as experts on the development of #metoo in both countries. Three years on, the chapter shows 1) how the voices that were initially silenced in the #metoo debate in Denmark later emerged when the country had its delayed #metoo moment in the autumn of 2020 and 2) how the reckoning with breeches of press ethics came to shape the aftermath and legacy of the movement in Sweden. Finally, we will discuss these developments as cases of boundary-making and challenging of legitimate authority and argue that #metoo can be seen as a ‘critical incident’ in the field of journalism (Zelitzer 1992). We see how the different trajectories of both the silencing and speaking up in the two countries illustrate a re-negotiation of boundaries along two axes; that of objec-tivity/subjectivity in journalistic practices and that of structural/individual foci in the reporting on issues related to sexual violence. Such re-negotiations are however highly contextual and intertwined with the political context and civil society structures in a given country and region.
TitelReporting on Sexual Violence in the post #metoo 2.0 era
RedaktørerAndrea Baker, Usha Mancanda Rodrigues
Publikationsdato1 okt. 2022
ISBN (Trykt)9781032115511
StatusUdgivet - 1 okt. 2022


  • #MeToo
  • Journalism
  • Objectivity
  • Voices
  • Incident command
  • Boundary making

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