• Line Robin Boye Danielsen
4. term, Interactive Digital Media, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis is rooted in post-colonial and queer critical discourse studies (Fairclough 2012; Habel 2015; Gillborn & Ladson Billings 2017; Hervik 2015; Hughey 2012; Danbolt 2017; Wekker 2016; Skadegård 2014 & 2017; Haraway 1988) and explores contemporary whiteness and colour-evasive racism through an analysis of a conversation between Danish users on the Social Media Platform, Twitter. It hereby seeks to explore unprecedented perspectives on racism and whiteness on Danish social media. 
The methods used for research has been a qualitative Netnographic approach (Kozinets 2010 & 2019; Hine 2015). Through this process the author has also been guided by their own uncertainty, curiosity, awareness, and reflections upon own positionalities as a Danish White, queer person and thereby rejects the hegemonic dichotomy of researcher/subject otherwise associated with traditional ethnographic studies (cf. Haraway 1988; Ellis 2004; Dahl 2011). The author invites the reader to keep an open mind to the premise that they refuse this idea of being the “all-knowing”, capable of explaining the subjects’ feelings, intentions, and patterns better than the subjects themselves (cf. Jourian & Nicolazzo 2017).
In Text and Discursive Practice, the author mapped a discursive negotiation about the event Nørrebro Pride’s guidelines which puts racialized queer people to the front and in effect divided the parade. One party (TS) is against this division, calling it ‘reverse racism’ the other party (rest of the users) see it as a way of creating space to racialized queer and trans people. Both parties referred to Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende and Nørrebro Pride’s discourses, respectively. There was a focus on TS’ own subjective opinions rather than the racialized people’s challenges. With both parties I identified use of downgraders as a social strategy to minimize the hardness of the debate. Own Whiteness was rarely mentioned apart from instances where participants marked themselves as such as opposed to a neutral informant. Another example was one user defining ‘giving space’ as something beautiful and simultaneously positioned their own whiteness as in opposition to the ‘opposite and less privileged’
In social practice the author discussed how a North American or South African context was invoked throughout the Twitter thread, in terms of history, contemporary events and academic texts at risk of diluting terms such as ‘apartheid’. A possible explanation for invoking these contexts and not e.g. The Danish/Nordic one could be as an indirect result of Danish Racial Exceptionalism (Danbolt 2017) and Sanctioned ignorance (Habel 2015) both of which contributes to a lack of knowledge and vocabulary regarding racial issues and maintains norms and narratives about the Nordic countries as post-racial, progressive countries. The author furthermore included perspectives on social media as part of the social practice. Here they discussed how these platforms cannot be considered neutral as they too contribute to racial dynamics through affordances (design), algorithms and so forth (cf. Hughey & Daniels 2013; Matamoros-Fernández 2017). I propose that the analyzed Twitter thread should be look upon in this context. 
The thesis end with the recognition that investigating Whiteness and color-evasive racism on social media comes with several challenges and brings up more questions that the author were able to answer through current methodologies. There is no ‘quick-fix’ to issues with Whiteness and racism, but following Ahmed’s (2007) Phenomenology of Whiteness can help us notice the institutional habits; it brings what is in the background to the front – what is not seen as the background of social actions to the surface in a certain way (Ahmed 2007) A possible next step would be to investigate and develop concrete methods for analyzing and the Whiteness that persist online. Critical approaches to bring attention to Whiteness the same way digital media researchers investigate other phenomena. To neglect this is to pass by an opportunity to bring into light these nuances of digital culture.
Publication date6 Apr 2021
Number of pages76
ID: 408678322