• Christina Lynggaard Madsen
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
The #MeToo movement went through a second wave in Denmark in the autumn of 2020 and prominent political figures left their leader positions due to #MeToo allegations. In this master thesis I investigate political crisis communication within a context of the #MeToo movement. The thesis is thus a multiple case study of two cases: Morten Østergaard the former leader of the Danish Social-Liberal Party and Frank Jensen the former Mayor of Copenhagen and former vice chairman of The Social Democratic Party, who both left their positions due to #MeToo allegations. In a theoretical combination of critical discourse analysis and Benoits image repair strategies I investigate how Morten Østergaard and Frank Jensen respond to the allegations against them, and how the progress evolves. Furthermore, I investigate the discursive requirements for crisis communication concerned with #MeToo allegations in these cases.

Based on news articles, press releases, speeches, press conferences and posts on social media, I analyze the two crisis communications processes. First, an analysis of the discursive practice formed as a progress analysis is made, where critical moments are identified. These critical moments are communicative events in the progress where a change occurs, and they are analyzed in a text analysis. Based on the analysis of the progress and the text analysis, an analysis of the social practice will be made in order to identify the discursive requirements.

The study shows that in both cases Morten Østergaard and Frank Jensen try to reduce the offensiveness of events by using the image repair strategies bolstering, minimization, differentiation and transcedens. A transitivity analysis shows that when talking about their actions they describe the women though material and mental processes and eliminates themselves as actors, whereby they create distance between themselves and the offensive acts. The study also shows that when mortification is used in combination with strategies that aim at reducing the offensiveness of the acts, the mortification is erased, because the offensiveness of the act does not get acknowledged. The media attention is addressed as extensive in #MeToo cases, which can create some discursive requirements for the crisis communication. In #MeToo, a hegemonic battle over ideologies is embedded, which also
creates some discursive requirements for the crisis communication. The study suggest that it can be difficult to take a stand as an advocate for the movement when you at the same time are accused of sexual harassment and try to reduce the offensiveness of those acts.

In the thesis I discuss the discursive requirements for political crisis communication in the context of the #MeToo movement and argue that further studies of how #MeToo affects political crisis communication would add useful knowledge to the field of research.
Publication date2021
Number of pages79
ID: 413401431