Facebook Groups in Sweden Constructing Sustainability: Resisting Hegemonic Anthropocentrism


  • Vaia Doudaki Charles University
  • Nico Carpentier Charles University




Facebook groups, sustainability, ecocentrism, anthropocentrism, hegemony


This article examines how Facebook groups in Sweden, that focus on the environment, address issues of sustainability. The research, conducted over a one-year period (May 2019–April 2020) combines mapping analysis, which identified a population of 152 environment-focused Facebook groups, and quantitative content analysis, which gives the overview of how these groups represent sustainability and human-nature relations. The analysis pointed to an overwhelming support for counterhegemonic, ecocentric positions, coupled with a strong critique against the hegemony of anthropocentrism. These findings relate to the general discussion concerning the potential of social media to function as spaces where hegemonies are contested and the vision of social change, in this case about the environment, takes shape, but also to the limitations of such possibilities.

Author Biographies

Vaia Doudaki, Charles University

Vaia Doudaki works as an associate professor of Communication and Media Studies at Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic). Her research activity and publications lie at the intersection of journalism studies, discourse studies and alternative media studies. Her fields of study include media, conflict and crisis, discourses of legitimation, environmental communication, alternative media, activism and communication, journalistic practices and identities.

Nico Carpentier, Charles University

Nico Carpentier is an extraordinary professor at Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic) and president of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) (2020–2024). He is also a research fellow at Loughborough University, UK and a work package leader in the Mistra Environmental Communication Research Program.


Arlt, D., Rauchfleisch, A., & Schäfer, M. S. (2019). Between fragmentation and dialogue. Twitter communities and political debate about the swiss “nuclear withdrawal initiative”. Environmental Communication, 13(4), 440–456.

Banerjee, S. B. (2011). Voices of the governed: Towards a theory of the translocal. Organization, 18, 323–344.

Banerjee, S. B. (2000). Whose land is it anyway? National interest, indigenous stakeholders, and colonial discourses: The case of the Jabiluka uranium mine. Organization & Environment, 13(1), 3–38.

Bartels, G., & Nelissen, W. (2002). Marketing for sustainability. Amsterdam: IOS Press.

Bartlett, T. (2019). Scaling the incommensurate: Discourses of sustainability in the Western Isles of Scotland. In N. Montesano Montessori, M. Farrelly & J. Mulderrig (eds.), Critical policy discourse analysis (pp. 242–263). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Bloomfield, E. F., & Tillery, D. (2019). The circulation of climate change denial online: Rhetorical and networking strategies on Facebook. Environmental Communication, 13(1), 23–34.

Bookchin, M. (1987). Social ecology versus deep ecology: A challenge for the ecology movement. Green Perspectives, 4(5), 1–22.

Bookchin, M. (1990). The philosophy of social ecology: Essays on dialectical naturalism. Montreal: Black Rose Books.

Borgström Hansson, C. (2003). Misplaced concreteness and concrete places: Critical analyses of divergent discourses on sustainability. [Doctoral dissertation, Lund University]. https://lup.lub.lu.se/record/21216

Boykoff, M. T., McNatt, M. B., & Goodman, M. K. (2015). The cultural politics of climate change news coverage around the world. In A. Hansen & R. Cox (eds.), The Routledge handbook of environment and communication (pp. 221–231). Abingdon: Routledge.

Brüggeman, M., Elgesem, D., Bienzeisler, N., Dedecek Gertz, H., & Walter, S. (2020). Mutual group polarization in the blogosphere: Tracking the hoax discourse on climate change. International Journal of Communication, 14, 1025–1048.

Burch, B. (2021). A sea change for climate refugees in the south Pacific: How social media – not journalism – tells their real story. Environmental Communication, 15(2), 250–263.

Burr, V. (1995). An introduction to social constructionism. London: Routledge.

Carpentier, N., & Doudaki, V. (2018). An introduction to power, multidirectionality and contingency: Political struggles over representation, decision-making and technology. Comunicazioni Sociali, Journal of Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Studies, 1, 3–8.

Clarke, J., Hall, S., Jefferson, T., & Roberts, B. (1976). Subcultures, cultures and class: A theoretical overview. In S. Hall & T. Jefferson (eds.), Resistance through rituals: Youth subcultures in post-war Britain (pp. 9–79). London: Hutchinson.

Cooper, G., Green, N., Burningham, K., Evans, D., & Jackson, T. (2012). Unravelling the threads: Discourses of sustainability and consumption in an online forum. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, 6(1), 101–118.

Corbett, J. (2006). Communicating nature: How we create and understand environmental messages. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Cox, R. (2012). Environmental communication and the public sphere. London: Sage.

Devall, B., & Sessions, G. (1985). Deep ecology – Living as if nature mattered. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith.

Dryzek, J. S. (2013). The politics of the earth: Environmental discourses (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dunlap, R. E. (2008). The new environmental paradigm scale: From marginality to worldwide use. Journal of Environmental Education, 40(1), 3–18.

Edwards, A. (2013). (How) do participants in online discussion forums create ‘echo chambers’? The inclusion and exclusion of dissenting voices in an online forum about climate change. Journal of Argumentation in Context, 2(1), 127–150.

Elgesem, D., Steskal, L., & Diakopoulos, N. (2015). Structure and content of the discourse on climate change in the blogosphere: The big picture. Environmental Communication, 9(2), 169–188.

Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering development: The making and unmaking of the Third World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Foster, J. B., Clark, B., & York, R. (2010). The ecological rift: Capitalism’s war on the earth. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Guha, R. (1998). Deep ecology revisited. In J. B. Callicott and M. P. Nelson (eds.), The great new wilderness debate (pp. 271–279). Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press.

Guha, R., & Martinez-Alier, J. (1997). Varieties of environmentalism: Essays North and South. London: Earthscan Publications.

Haider, J. (2016). The shaping of environmental information in social media: Affordances and technologies of self-control. Environmental Communication, 10(4), 473–491.

Hajer, M. A. (1995). The politics of environmental discourse. Ecological modernization and the policy process. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hall, S. (1986). The problem of ideology – Marxism without guarantees. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 10(2), 28–44.

Haraway, D. J. (2003). The companion species manifesto. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.

Häussler, T. (2019). Patterns of polarization: Transnational dynamics in climate change online networks in the US and Switzerland. The Information Society, 35(4), 184–197.

Hickel, J. (2020, September 30). The world’s sustainable development goals aren’t sustainable. Foreign Policy. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/09/30/the-worlds-sustainable-development-goals-arent-sustainable/

Joosse, S., & Brydges T. (2018). Blogging for sustainability: The intermediary role of personal green blogs in promoting sustainability. Environmental Communication, 12(5), 686–700.

Katz, E. (1999). A pragmatic reconsideration of anthropocentrism. Environmental Ethics, 21(4), 377–390.

Kidner, D. (2014). Why ‘anthropocentrism’ is not anthropocentric. Dialectical Anthropology, 38(4), 465 480.

Kopnina, H. (2016). The victims of unsustainability: A challenge to sustainable development goals. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 23(2), 113–121.

Kopnina, H. (2013). Forsaking nature? Contesting ‘biodiversity’ through competing discourses of sustainability. Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 7(1), 51–63.

Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and socialist strategy: Towards a radical democratic politics. London: Verso.

Lester, L., & Cottle, S. (2015). Transnational protests, publics and media participation (in an environmental age). In A. Hansen & R. Cox (eds.), The Routledge handbook of environment and communication (pp. 100–110). Abingdon: Routledge.

Longhurst, B., Smith, G., Bagnall, G., Crawford, G., & Ogborn, M. (2008). Introducing cultural studies (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

Magnusson, D., Sperling, K., Veenman, S., & Oteman, M. (2021). News media framing of grassroots innovations in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. Environmental Communication, 15(5), 641–662.

Malone, N., & Ovenden, K. (2017). Natureculture. In A. Fuentes (ed.), The International encyclopedia of primatology (pp. 1–2). Hoboken: Wiley. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/9781119179313.wbprim0135

McHugh, M. L. (2012). Interrater reliability: The kappa statistic. Biochemia Medica, 22, 276–282.

McManus, P. (1996). Contested terrains: Politics, stories and discourses of sustainability. Environmental politics, 5(1), 48–73.

Mol, A. P. J., & Sonnenfeld, D. A. (2000). Ecological modernisation around the world: Perspectives and critical debates. London and Portland: Routledge.

Naess, A. (1973). The shallow and the deep, long-range ecology movement: A summary. Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, 16(1–4), 95–100.

Nations, J. D. (1988). Deep ecology meets the developing world. In E. O. Wilson (ed.), Biodiversity (pp. 78–82). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Olausson, U. (2018). “Stop blaming the cows!”: How livestock production is legitimized in everyday discourse on Facebook. Environmental Communication, 12(1), 28–43.

Olteanu, A., Castillo, A., Diakopoulos, N., & Aberer, K. (2015). Comparing events coverage in online news and social media: The case of climate change. In Proceedings of the ninth international association for the advancement of artificial intelligence Conference on web and social media (pp. 288–297). https://www.scholars.northwestern. edu/en/publications/comparing-events-coverage-in-online-news-and-social-media-the-cas

Pal, M., & Jenkins, J. J. (2014). Reimagining sustainability: An interrogation of the Corporate Knights’ Global 100. Environmental Communication, 8(3), 388–405.

Peterson, T. R., & Norton, T. (2007). Discourses of sustainability in today’s public sphere. In S. K. May, G. Cheney, & J. Roper (eds.), The debate over corporate social responsibility (pp. 351–364). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Scholte, J. A., Casier, T., & Dutkiewicz, P. (2020). Hegemony in world politics: An introduction. In P. Dutkiewicz, T. Casier & J. A. Scholte (eds.), Hegemony in world politics: Reimagining power in global politics (pp. 1–14). Milton Park and New York: Routledge.

Sessions, G. (ed.) (1995). Deep ecology for the twenty-first century. Boston: Shambhala.

Shehata, A., & Hopmann, D. N. (2012). Framing climate change: A study of US and Swedish press coverage of global warming. Journalism Studies, 13(2), 175–192.

Shiva, V. (2005). Earth democracy. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.

Shoreman-Ouimet, E, & Kopnina, H. (2016). Conservation and culture: Beyond anthropocentrism. New York: Routledge Earthscan.

Spyksma, H. (2019). Unintentional journalists: The role of advocacy group 350 in filling a news gap for reporting from the Pacific region. Journalism Studies, 20(1), 1–21.

Van Eck, C. W., Mulder, B. C., & Dewulf, A. (2020). Online climate change polarization: Interactional framing analysis of climate change blog comments. Science Communication, 42(4), 454–480.

Voniati, C., Doudaki, V., & Carpentier, N. (2018). Mapping community media organisations in Cyprus: A methodological reflection. Journal of Alternative and Community Media, 3(1), 17–35.

WCED (1987). Our common future. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. New York: United Nations. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5987our-common-future.pdf




How to Cite

Doudaki, V., & Carpentier, N. (2022). Facebook Groups in Sweden Constructing Sustainability: Resisting Hegemonic Anthropocentrism. Central European Journal of Communication, 15(1(30), 52-71. https://doi.org/10.51480/1899-5101.15.1(30).3



Scientific Papers