"Revolutionary electronic space" and global social movements

I came across a very interesting article the other day that looks at the relevance of web 2.0 communication technology and social movements - the labour movement is used as the main example.

According to the article - Social Movements 2.0 (by Brendan Smith, Tim Costello & Jeremy Brecher), there are five reasons why this revolutionary electronic space is especially relevant to the future of the global social movements:

1. Group Formation: New social networking tools, ranging from Facebook and Twitter to e-mail and listservs, make forming groups--and hopefully social movements--much easier.

2. Scale and amplification: With a single keystroke, social movements can now push information out to millions of people and lift up marginalized voices into national, and even global, spheres.

3. Interactivity: The web is not a one-way transmission belt like television; it's more akin to the telephone, allowing conversation, intimacy and debate by tapping into the fundamental human desire for self-expression and shared communication.

4. Destruction of hierarchies: Elites have long dominated the broadcast and distribution networks, making them the primary gatekeepers of information flow, allowing them to frame and dominate political discourse, and decide what is and what is not news.

5. Cheapness and ease of tools: Social movement organizations have been perennially under-resourced, and with the current financial crisis and global recession the situation will surely worsen.

There is far more commentary on each aspect in the article and there is also a list and discussion of what is not known about web 2.0 and social movements.

A must article for those interested in this subject!

1 comment:

Muhammad Deen said...

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