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Are Greta Thunberg and her movement spontaneous? Show more Show less
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Greta Thunberg and Friday for Future got enormous popularity: teenage student that protested in front of Swedish Parliament got world-wide attention. Is this spontaneous or nurtured by media coverage and external social marketing?

No, Greta Thunberg and her movement are not spontaneous Show more Show less

Growing awareness of climate change fuelled the movement.
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The Friday for Future movement did not start spontaneously

Greta Thunberg was not the first, nor will she be the last to contribute towards this movement. As climate change becomes more of a globally-discussed crisis, rallies such as these will continue to appear. Proponents include Thunberg herself.

The Argument

Greta Thunberg's Friday for the Future movement has caused an unprecedented leap in climate activism coverage in the media, but that does not make her movement spontaneous. She merely capitalized upon growing climate awareness to push a singular movement to the forefront. Thunberg was even inspired by the gun control walkouts to stage her own walkout, which kicked off this movement.[1] March for Our Lives, the Women's March, and the Black Lives Matter marches have all become focal points for their respective issues, and Friday for the Future is no different.[2] The world evolves and becomes aware of social and environmental issues so rapidly that it can cause individual events to be viewed as cataclysms for their propulsion into sociocultural relevance, but in reality, it takes a multitude of events and reactions to reach that point. Activists for the climate have existed long before Thunberg, and they have been pushed aside in order to favor a white youth media figure.[3] None of this is the fault of Thunberg herself, but the media must recognize that many people from a variety of diverse backgrounds have been advocating for these issues for a long time. Our society is hyper-fixated on having a "face of the movement" type-figure for every individual issue. This causes the problems themselves to be trivialized in favor of making a celebrity out of their leaders.[4]

Counter arguments

If Thunberg's movement is unprecedented, and she started it alone, it must be in some way spontaneous. She did not have any sort of corporate team or social media direction. She merely saw another group of young people standing up for their beliefs and decided to do the same for her own-- that captures the very essence of spontaneity.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/07/the-guardian-view-on-teenage-activists-look-whos-pulling-the-strings
  2. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/youth-activist-movements-2010s-brief-history-timeline-decade-of-change
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/05/greta-thunberg-developing-world-activists
  4. https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2020/01/30/42707711/greta-thunbergs-growing-white-problem
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 22:22 UTC