Small Change By Malcolm Gladwell Analysis

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Topics: Sociology
Malcolm Gladwell’s article "Small Change: Why the Revolution Will not be Tweeted" raises many questions about the potential contributions web-based social networking has attributed to the emergence of progressive social movement and change. "The revolution will not be tweeted" is reflective of his view that social media has no useful application in serious activism, which is a bold assertion, given the impact that social media has on today’s society. Gladwell believes that effective social movements powerful enough to impose change on longstanding societal forces will require both strong ties among all involved parties and the presence of the hierarchical organizations. In contrast, Gladwell characterizes the social networks as an interwoven …show more content…
Social networking websites are not meant to be a form of organization; instead they are designed to be an effective means of communication. Comparing a social site like Twitter to a reform-oriented organization like the NAACP is like comparing a telephone to a local branch of government. They are clearly not the same thing and obviously perform two very different functions. Therefore, an effective comparison of these two very different tools is practically impossible. Perceptible demonstration like marches, sit-ins, and boycotts were usually undertaken by groups of people in the Black southern community who shared a deeply rooted common culture and social experience. The specific examination of the Greensboro, N.C. lunch counter sit-ins that ignited a wave of similarly executed sit-ins throughout the 1960 was accredited to the strong personal ties amongst the initial Greensboro students. Two were roommates and all had gone to the same high school and shared a wealth of common experiences ranging from smuggling beer into the dormitory to the remembrance of the injustices at Little Rock. The idea of a month-long Woolworth sit-in was initially discussed in the dormitory in a most informal manner. This evidence inexplicably presented by Mr. Gladwell is in complete contradiction to his statement requiring a hierarchy in which national or local leaders and organizations …show more content…
Gladwell elegantly states that social media is "not a natural enemy of the status quo." Thus, the question becomes whether social media can in fact contribute to the process of forming a significant social movement and effective social action, as opposed to whether it can serve as a satisfactory substitute for that process. Referring to the previous stated example, a phone is certainly not a branch of government, but a phone if properly utilized can mobilize a large group of people to vote for changes in the particular branch of government in question. When Malcolm Gladwell proclaims that the "the revolution will not be tweeted," he is basically correct in a strict interpretation of his statement. By no means can technology be the sole driving force of a social revolution, but as evidenced by the television’s impact, Twitter and other social media networks are a force that can be employed in the break down of the time and distance barriers that have previously halted the dissemination of the public’s awareness of pressing social issues. To a far greater extant than television, Twitter and other social media sites are accelerating the traditionally time and labor-intensive process of mobilizing individuals to take collective action against pressing social matters. In a corresponding but immeasurably faster fashion, the fusion

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