Social Movements have played a major role in bringing many social changes! It is not only in the today’s world but also, from a very long time that they have worked. Their history goes long back. Moreover, Social Movements have various dimensions within themselves. In addition, they can range from a huge group or a community to an individual.
Here is a short and basic description of social movements before relating them with social media!
About Social Movements
- “Social movements are broad alliances of people connected through a shared interest in either stopping or instigating social change”. (source: Lumen)
- In other words, social movements is a unified and flexible structure of people with similar opinions and goals.
- Their basic aim is to change or remove an existing idea, or add a new one.
- Moreover, it has no rigid or strict boundaries. Also, it has no formal or organised structure. However, the similar ideas and goals aligns people into a certain discipline.
- Social movements provide a platform for people to voice up collectively and influence change.
- In addition, it provides a sense of belonging to the people. It is because they meet others with similar thoughts and goals.
- The working, number of people and range of every movement differs from one another. In other words, social movement has no standardised way.
- Many a time, a social movement is related to an organisation(social or non-government) or any political party.
- Moreover, they are spontaneous in nature. But, they can last for weeks, months or even, years.
- Importantly, the main thing that sustains a social movement is the common ground of people. Their loyalty and faith towards the ideology of the movement, keeps them connected. In other words, the main essence of a movement is the commitment of the people towards it. Since, there is no formal application or resignation to join a movement, such personal factors play a vital role.
- In addition, participation and engagement in activities are the sub-elements of such movements.
Social Movement is actually a vast structure that is studied under Sociology and Political Science. Moreover, as everything is changing with time, so are them! They are evolving in nature. Here are some common questions to have more idea about them!
Also Read Social media and its impact
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
- What are the types of Social Movements?
Social Movements have a lot of ranges and types. They range in every aspects be it, dimensions, people involved, duration or any other factor. However, some of the types are revolutionary (they demand replacement in the existing things and some control), reformative(they demand minor changes to preserve something) and many others. If you want to know more about the types, do read the sources BRITANNICA and WIKIPEDIA
- Do they have any procedure?
Social Movements do not have a procedure or a uniform way of working. However, there is a known pattern that has been established for them. They tend to have a life-cycle. It shows how they come into existence(emergence) and fade away(decline). To know the entire life cycle, read THE STAGES OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
- What are their causes?
There can be several reasons behind any social movement. It can be where the thinking or the ideology matches(psychological factors.) or when a specific group are against established norms(social factors). Moreover, social movement can also start to support or be against a specific person. Therefore, the cause is as vast as the nature of the movement.
- Are social organisation and social movement the same?
There is a difference between social organisation and social movement. The two are separate in nature. The basic line of distinction between the two is, the nature of structure. Social organisations are formally organised and structured while there are no boundaries when it comes to social movements. Moreover, there can be a possibility that the social organisation has emerged from a social movement.
- Is ideology important in a social movement?
An ideology is a pattern of ideas that create the common ground in a social movement. They are necessary because they create similar actions. It brings everyone together.
Also Read Negative effects of social media
THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
In today’s world of technology, Internet plays a major role. With the advent of the Internet, social media has become a very common platform. Moreover, anything and everything can be informed or discussed in this platform.
In addition, the best part of social media is that it connects people worldwide over a short period of time. The emerge of various media-platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many others, have created a boundary-less space.
It provides people a chance to voice their opinions freely. As a result, social movements have started to emerge and spread via Internet. In addition, social movements are also termed as Online movements. It is when social medias drive social movements on the vehicle of the Internet.
There are numerous ways in which a social media affects any social movement. Now these ways can be both positive and negative. With the emerge of people voicing up their support for a movement or cause, there is also constant hate and trolls being spread. People often tend to criticize the movements they are totally against to. Moreover, at times, social media becomes a base for hate-groups formation. People tend to form communities over similar ideologies and keep spreading them. However, it cannot be denied how beneficial social media is for social movements!
Here are some briefed-out points!
Social Media provides a platform.
- The social movements when reach the social media, they spread across the world.
- It provides a boundary-free and limitless platform.
- Moreover, many social networks provide the feature of forming groups or communities. This enables people with same goals to reach out to each other.
- This platform provides everybody a chance to get involved in the movement. There are different ways a person can show support or criticism for or against the movement.
- In addition, nowadays, social media is also used to raise funds. Various movements independently or in collaboration with organisations collect fund for the cause. Several people donate and help in the fund raising.
Increases the reach of the SOCIAL MOVEMENT
- The social medias have become a way to express ones views and find people with the same views. Moreover, many a time movements start from social medias, itself.
- For instance, the “Me Too” or the “Black Lives Matter” movements. It starts from one nation and reaches several. People get an idea of what is happening and are able to extend support.
- Moreover, it also gives a chance to people to identify things and their own voice. When they get to know of a cause, they identify if they are in support or against it.
- Social media helps a lot in getting people with similar ideologies across the world, together. In addition, it helps the movement reach several places in no time. Therefore, it creates a speedy movement.
- People are able to voice up. There are many discussions and debates happening simultaneously over social media while a movement is going on. As a result, everybody gets a chance to participate and know more.
- Moreover, there are certain ways a person expresses themselves during a movement. A trend starts and people who are in support, do it.
- For instance, people change their displays to show their support. Also, social media provides various features like posts, comments, shares and many more.
- The hashtag trend is the most common one during movements. There is a hashtag that is formed for a specific movement. People use and share it, to show their voice.
- In addition, these opinions are not only stuck on social medias but reach newspaper articles and protests or movements too.
- Also, there are many famous personalities on social media that raise concerns and contribute immensely in spreading information.
- People are able to pay attention and get aware about the happenings around the world.
- This enables one to take action and even step up, if they feel the same around them.
- Social Movements include issues from all the dimensions. Be it, political, social, environmental, legal or any other. It helps a lot in creating and maintaining awareness.
- Moreover, it provides everyone a chance to spread the awareness.
- People also generate forums and petitions for such movements. There is a widespread of such forums to get support from everybody across the world.
- These petitions even lead to major changes when they receive the support of many people.
- Therefore, social media has become a basic source of awareness of several issues.
Social Movements existed before social media. However, with the emerge of social media, they are able to tap more people. There are good and bad sides to the affect of social media, as well. They attract people towards many important concerns but, at times, distract them too. There are times when social media becomes a cause of concern. It is when there is a movement about a major issue but, people are attracted more to some other thing going viral on social medias.
However, one cannot let go of the fact that we live in a world where social media has become an important platform. Therefore, it is important to use it the right way and contribute towards the movements that can bring the required change.