Faculty of Social Sciences

Antiracism and Social Movements in Norway: The Importance of Critical Events

How can a single event become critical, potentially challenge a dominant discourse and lead to institutional change?

In this article two recent events in Norway are used to answer this question. In the first a dark-skinned person was killed by the police; in the second, an ambulance crew refused to take an injured man to hospital for emergency treatment. The term ‘critical event’ means that certain events can become critical if, through framing, they facilitate a collective consciousness articulated in ways that challenge existing frames of interpretation. In the article this perspective is discussed in relation to the two incidents, and shows its analytical value for studying collective action and the possibility of social change. The authors of this article published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies are University Lecturer Carl Endre Espeland and Research Director Jon Rogstad. For further information and reading, see this link.