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We know that social movements can occur on the local, national, or even global stage.

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Are there other patterns or classifications that can help us understand them? Sociologist David Aberle addresses this question by developing that distinguish among social movements by considering 1 what it is the movement wants to change and 2 how much change they want. He described four types of social movements, including: alternative, redemptive, reformative, and revolutionary social movements. Figure 1. David Aberle identified these four types of social movements, with some types of movements targeting either specific individuals or everyone, while some want limited changes, and others are more radical.

Sociologists have studied the lifecycle of social movements—how they emerge, grow, and in some cases, die out. Blumer and Tilly outlined a four-stage process through which social movements develop. Figure 2. As social movements grow, they typically become increasingly organized and bureacratized, add members, which either le to success or failure as a movement. As we have mentioned throughout this text, and likely as you have experienced in your life, social media is a widely used mechanism in social movements. The phrase later grew into a massive movement when people began using it on Twitter to drive empathy and support regarding experiences of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

In a similar way, Black Lives Matter began as a social media message after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of year-old Trayvon Martin, and the phrase burgeoned into a formalized though decentralized movement in subsequent years. Social media has the potential to dramatically transform how people get involved in movements ranging from local school district decisions to presidential campaigns. As discussed above, movements go through several stages, and social media adds a dynamic to each of them.

In the preliminary stagepeople become aware of an issue, and leaders emerge. Compared to movements of 20 or 30 years ago, social Wm seeking black can accelerate this stage substantially. Issue awareness can spread at the speed of a click, with thousands of people across the globe becoming informed at the same time. In a similar vein, those who are savvy and engaged with social media may emerge as leaders, even if, for example, they are not great public Wm seeking black.

At the next stage, the coalescence stagesocial media is also transformative. Coalescence is the point when people together to publicize the issue and get organized. Using Twitter and other online tools, the campaign engaged volunteers who had typically not bothered with politics. Combined with comprehensive data tracking and the ability to micro-target, the campaign became a blueprint for others to build on. Political polls are still important, but social media provides instant feedback and opportunities for campaigns to act, react, or—on a daily basis—ask for donations based on something that had occurred just hours earlier Knowledge at Wharton Interestingly, social media can have interesting outcomes once a movement reaches the institutionalization stage.

In some cases, a formal organization might exist alongside the hashtag or general sentiment, as is the case with Black Lives Matter. At any one time, BLM is essentially three things: a structured organization, an idea with deep and personal meaning for people, and a widely used phrase or hashtag.

And in other cases, people may be very aligned with all three contexts of the phrase. Social media is still crucial to the social movement, but its interplay is both complex and evolving. In a similar way, MeToo activists, including Tarana Burke herself, have sought to clarify the interweaving of different aspects of the movement. She told the Harvard Gazette in The people using the hashtag on the internet were the impetus for Me Too being put into the public sphere. The media coverage of the viralness of Me Too and the people being accused are media coverage of a popular story that derived from the hashtag.

The movement is the work that our organization and others like us are doing to both support survivors and move people to action Walsh The people who dropped out of the movement—who went home after the danger became too great—did not display any less ideological commitment.

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But they lacked the strong-tie connection to other people who were staying. People follow or friend people they have never met. For some people, social media remains that way, but for others it can relate to or build stronger ties. For example, if people, who had for years known each other only through an online group, meet in person at an event, they may feel far more connected at that event and afterward than people who had never interacted before. And as we discussed in the Groups chapter, social media itself, even if people never meet, can bring people into primary group status, forming stronger ties.

Another way to consider the impact of social media on activism is through something that may or may not be emotional, has little implications regarding tie strength, and may be fleeting rather than permanent, but still be one of the largest considerations of any formal social movement: money.

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Returning to politics, think of the massive amounts of campaign money raised in each election cycle through social media. In the Presidential election and its aftermath, hundreds of millions of dollars were raised through social media. Likewise, 55 percent of people who engage with nonprofits through social media take some sort of action; and for 60 percent of them or 33 percent of the total that action is to give money to support the cause Nonprofit Source Although it contains many of the classic developmental elements of a social movement described in this module, it is set apart by its lack of a single message, its leaderless organization, and its target—financial institutions instead of the government.

Although OWS was a reaction to the continuing financial chaos that resulted from the market meltdown and not a political movement, the Arab Spring was its catalyst. Manuel Castells notes that the years leading up to the Occupy movement had witnessed a dizzying increase in the disparity of wealth in the United States, stemming back to the s. The top 1 percent in the nation had secured 58 percent of the economic growth in the period for themselves, while real hourly wages for the average worker had increased by only 2 percent.

The wealth of the top 5 percent had increased by 42 percent. According to many reports, that same year, top executives and traders received large bonuses. On September 17,an anniversary of the ing of the U. Constitution, the occupation began. One thousand outraged protestors descended upon Wall Street, and up to 20, people moved into Zuccotti Park, only two blocks away, where they began building a village of tents and organizing a system of communication.

What do they want? They have no agenda.

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The late James C. Instead, a revolution is more possible when expected need satisfaction and actual need satisfaction are out of sync. As actual need satisfaction trends downward and away from what a formerly prosperous people have come to expect—tracing a Wm seeking black that looks somewhat like an upside-down J and is called the Davies-J curve—the gap between expectations and reality widens.

Eventually, an intolerable point is reached, and revolution occurs. Thus, change comes not from the very bottom of the social hierarchy, but from somewhere in the middle. Indeed, the Arab Spring was driven by mostly young people whose education had offered promise and expectations that were thwarted by corrupt autocratic governments. Occupy Wall Street too came not from the bottom but from people in the middle, who exploited the power of social media to enhance communication. Improve this Learn More.

Module Social Movements and Social Change. Search for:. Types and Stages of Social Movements Learning Outcomes Distinguish between different types of social movements Describe and apply the four stages of social movements. Try It. This video gives an idea of the protest—what it looked like, and how it played out.

Think It Over Do you think social media is an important tool in creating social change? Why, or why not? Defend your opinion. Describe a social movement in the decline stage. What is its issue? Why has it reached this stage?

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