Climate activism amongst young Norwegians and their understanding of the #FFF movement
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This thesis explores the motivation behind involvement in collective action to tackle climate change. By focusing on the #FFF movement and the climate activist’s reflection on own engagement, this study tries to grasp how climate engagement emerges and what the driving factors for engagement in collective action are. To help shed light on these issues, three research questions were asked: 1.) What makes young Norwegians join the climate movement and what makes them stay? 2.) How do young Norwegians understand their role as activist? 3.) How does Norwegian climate activist understand the role and impact of the #FFF movement? The theoretical framework deployed in this thesis draws on concepts such as emotions and collective efficacy, and tries to bridge the gap between theories of social psychology like the VBN- theory presented by Stern et al., (1999) and institutional theory and the role of social rationality presented by Vatn (2015). The thesis deploys a qualitative research strategy and data is collected through semi-structured interviews with 19 climate activists, representatives from the organisations that are behind the climate school strikes in Norway. The results indicates that motivation for involvement in collective action on climate change is many-faceted, but that altruistic values and a utilisation of a social rationality helps the activist cut across the problems posed by free-riding. The data further reveals that the activist have a strong belief in the possible political impacts of the strikes. A belief that is derived from trust in both the political system as well as the organisations behind the strikes, but also is credited their understanding of an emerging new norm to care about the environment that has already started to take hold amongst the younger generations.