Small Change

Topics: Social movement, Anarchism, Interpersonal ties Pages: 4 (1529 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Small Change
What determines a movement? Malcolm Gladwell defines what pushes a movement to make a difference. He analyzes the concept of “strong ties” and “weak ties” and how these relationships affect an individual’s willpower and determination to help a cause. Gregory Orr puts these ideas into context in his memoir, “Return to Hayneville”, in which he recounts his experience and involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Malcolm Gladwell’s “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”, focuses, in particular, on the civil rights movement concentrates to the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina. Gladwell’s ideas and opinions of social and political emancipations are given a real world setting, as presented by Orr. Involvement in a civil rights movement or activism of any kind is determined by the relationship you share with people participating in the cause. Orr’s experience enriches Gladwell’s ideas and demonstrates how weak ties because of a lack of friends participating in a movement can distance an individual from a cause. Gregory Orr is a white man who participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, he had no close friends involved with the movement as he was. Gladwell explains “-participants were far more likely to have close friends… going to Mississippi. High risk activism… is a “strong tie” phenomenon” (Gladwell,136), in relation to what motivated people to stay and fight for the cause. Orr only joined the civil rights movement because he hoped, “[he] could lose [himself] in that worthwhile work” (Orr, 217), he was still carrying the guilt of accidentally killing his brother in 1959. Orr shared no relationship with this cause, because of his lack of friends and acquaintances involved in the movement it was easier for him to walk away when things became tough.

Gladwell sets a guideline to what makes up a “strong-tie” relationship and what turns an idea into a revolution, Orr experiences strengthens...
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