Ny studie om den svenska BLM-debatten 2020

Ny artikel i en akademisk tidskrift, som Peter Wikström, Johan Samuelsson och jag står bakom tillsammans och som är den första studien om den specifikt svenska BLM-debatten som ägde rum under pandemiåret 2020. Artikeln går att läsa och/eller ladda ned gratis via Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies hemsida:


”This is a study of the Swedish debate on statues and monuments to the world-famous Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus that took place during the Black Lives Matter movement breakthrough in the summer of 2020. The purpose is to examine how understandings of race, racism, identity, and history were articulated in the debate. The empirical material consists of Twitter posts and newspaper editorials, which we approach through thematic analysis complemented with discourse analysis of illustrative examples and excerpts. Theoretically, we conceptualize the debate as a case of a Swedish racialized memory war. 

The results show that discourse participants constructed the terms of the debate as a matter of being “for” or “against” Linnaeus’ legacy, and consequently as a matter of being for or against science, reason, progress, and a supposedly non-ideological historiography, rather than as a matter of qualitatively renegotiating how we selectively remember and celebrate historical persons and legacies, and formulate tendentious narratives of the past that serve present agendas. 

In this memory war, discourse participants mainly representing the white majority population of Sweden mobilized a defense of a “canonized” understanding of Linnaeus’ legacy on the editorial pages of the Swedish newspapers and on Twitter. This defense, we argue, supports an ongoing effort to absolve Swedes of any substantial complicity in European and Western racism and colonialism. In effect, what is defended is a white-washed use and understanding of history – a status quo that largely remains unchallenged in Sweden.”