7/6 The Draft/Outline

Briefly introduce the elements of social movements, with protests being the most significant dimension of movements:


  • Quote Frederick Douglass about the nature of social change
  • Discuss how the world seemingly changes as a result of such movements, incorporate elements of Peter Drier’s analysis here. Peter Drier is a sociology professor at Occidental College who teaches a course on social movements.
  • Four Stages of social movements, according to literature/scholarship
    • Emergence
    • Coalescence
    • Bureaucratization
    • Decline
  • Coalescence is also called the popular stage, and is the step in which forms of organized and collective protests begin to occur.
  • Why protest?


Talk about the role of technology in social movements:


  • Talk about social media more generally, and its impact on the world
  • #BlackLivesMatter, and its uprising in media and discussion about race and politics
  • Challenge how social media has worked effectively on other issues and in other places in the world


Los Indignados


The #NoLesVotes campaign triggered other campaigns, centered on challenging the state for its failure to repair the economy that left youth unemployed. “Democracia Real Ya” (DRY)emerged online and sought an end to austerity and corruption in Spain. This particular movement released a manifesto, claiming that, “We are like you: people who get up every morning to study, work or find a job, people who have family and friends” and that with no distinct ideology and an embrace of all ideologies, they together, wanted to build a better future society. Gerbaudo goes on to describe how their sustained online engagement with Spanish people created massive organizing and that eventually, their practices online such as cooperation, decentralization, flexibility, and instantaneity transferred to their physical occupation of Puerta de Sol, an infamous public square in Madrid.


The Square and SOS Venuzuela


SOS Venuzuela


  • Activists being able to talk about the realities in Venezuela while their government is forbidding international media
  • The manner in which attention is drawn to the issue, using YouTube and video technology to document what’s going on


The Square



  • How the Internet, Twitter maintained the progress and documentation of that progress
  • Documentary filmmaking, a technology that should not be overshadowed in this discussion of how technology impacts social movements
  • Once again, the externality of attention being garnered abroad and not just domestically


Then discuss how SOS Venezuela and the Egyptian revolution(s) used media to attract others outside of their countries, whereas something different can be said about Los Indignados.


Counter examples of how technology and activism is not only confined to social media.


  • Elisabeth Jay Friedman is the Chair of Politics and Professor at the University of San Francisco in the United States. In this journal publication titled, “Lesbians in (cyberspace): the politics of on- and off-line communities,” Friedman argues that cyberspace—defined as the dense web of information and communication created by email, chat, distribution lists, and websites—are a “virtually public sphere especially useful for Latin American lesbian communities” (Friedman, p. 791). Through her research, Friedman assesses the value of the Internet’s capabilities to address the isolation, repression, and resource restriction, and deficiency in community-building in Latin American lesbian communities, which allows for intraregional and international networking unprecedented by former technologies and methods of organizing. Friedman demonstrates how cyber communities provide refuge from political and social repression found in the physical world for lesbians, as well as strengthen Latin American lesbian identity. The Internet provides lesbians with the opportunity to meet each other and dismantle isolation, but also provides an affordable and sustainable space for organizing, which is difficult in physical geographies in Latin America.


With the generation of these possibilities for Latin American lesbian communities, Friedman presents new challenges for lesbians associated with the harness of the Internet’s capacity. Friedman highlights language and societal norms still remain barriers against facilitating communication. For example, the Internet remains largely inaccessible by those who do not have the privilege of being able to have access or the skills to navigate the Internet. In addition, websites can be muddled with political opinions that create division amongst lesbians. Latin American lesbians also speak different languages, ranging from Portuguese to English. Yet Friedman contends that the benefits of cyber communication and organizing largely outweigh the obstacles Latin American lesbian communities encounter.



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