Week 2 Discussion Prompt: Social Movements and New Media

In your own words, summarize Christiansen’s explanation of a social movement and its stages. How do the cases of the Egyptian revolution and the police killing of Oscar Grant illustrate this idea of social movements? Do you think social media are changing the nature of social movements and revolution today?

88 thoughts on “Week 2 Discussion Prompt: Social Movements and New Media”

  1. Christiansen explains social movement as an intermediary of organized entities to informal gathering geared at advocating a unique right. Christiansen points out that social movement have aspects that are common, which include unity of purpose, common cause of disharmony and similar agendas. By virtue of the similarities and commonality in opinion and agenda, social movements, more often than not, appear as informal and organized entities.
    Christiansen further argues that social movements develop in four distinct stages. They include emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. The emergence stage involves common disharmony without collective action. Individual people are affected with the on-going social injustice or policy, but there is minimal collective complains. The companies are limited to individuals and official letters addressing the contentious issues. The coalescence stage involve as a shift from individual discontent to identification of the problem and the actors.
    Coalescence is commonly dubbed the popular stage where the individual become aware of each other and the common misery or cause of discontent. The individuals collate and form a group that identifies the origin and perpetuator of the injustice. The bureaucratization stage involves increased mass awareness of the problem affecting the individuals. It also involves high organization levels with individuals responsible for coordination of daily activities. This stage marks the beginning of reactions from the masses that belief in the course for the social movement.
    The social injustice or course of discontent acquires justification based on reason purported through the social movements. The people are in full comprehension of the effects and possible social distortion caused by the discontent. The decline stage can involve repression, co-optation, failure, or success. The final stage dictates the course and ultimate maturity of the social movement.
    The Egyptian followed Christiansen stages in its development. Initially, the people were oppressed with social injustice, oppression, low wage bills, increased inflation, and police brutality. However, the people did not initially come out in masses to protest against the activities. As time progressed, people began gathering and identifying contentious issues that affect them. There were several platforms sued to spread the discontent among people. Social media played a key role in sensitizing the people against the injustice.
    There was the Tunisian president a factor where social movement had bore fruit. The success prompted the social movements to engage in their quest for change. Social media progressed the social movement in Egypt to the point of mass action. The decline was followed by the consequential removal of Hosni Mubarak from the presidential seat. The acquisition of freedom of speech, justice, tolerance to religion was aspects of success of the social movement.
    Oscar Grant killing was captured in cameras and cell phones and uploaded in social media. The protest that erupted was spontaneous and based on the innocent killing of a civilian. If the shooting had not achieved attention through social media, the protest and social movement would not have acquired vigor.
    In conclusion, social media has become a platform for interaction that overrides traditional forms of socialization. The concept of global village becomes perfected with the adoption and appreciation of social media.
    Similarly, global awareness on human rights and convention advocating for the same are made public through social media. Therefore, not only are people informed of their rights, but also they have a platform to share their discontent. It suffices to observe that social media form the strongest channel of communicating discontent and giving power to social movements.

    1. I agree with you that social media has created global awareness regarding basic human rights and injustices that many people were unaware of before. The internet has allowed for more educated individuals and knowledge is power, well written.

    2. Very good post. I completely agree that the use of social media has become one of the key strengths for the average person to speak out against injustice and help promote and call for change and action.

  2. Sofia Kalaitzakis
    1-26-14
    Cult
    Week 2
    The four stages of social movement are: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization and decline. This can be applied to understand how the social movements form, dissipate, and grow. The new social movements are not in the plan of Christopher’s stages. Emergence there is no organization in this stage they have not taken any action, they might have told friends, and family. The people might have wrote a letter to the newspaper. Coalescence is basically people coming together, and talking or complaining about problems but never come together as one and try and resolve the problem. Once they hit the popular state they start to form leaders and strategies to get things worked out. Bureaucratization is more advanced they find people that can run the day to day activities and help carry out the movement. They now are relying on trained staff and political power. The political power is way higher then stage 1 and 2. Finally decline can occur because of repression, co-optation, success, and failure. It doesn’t necessary mean failure. Christian states people are affected with the ongoing social policy but not many people complain. The final stage dictates the social movements.
    The Egyptian followed Christian’s stages in the development. The people were upset and complaining about the low wages, bills, increased inflation ect. The people began to get together and talk about the issues that have been affecting them. The more people talk the more the problems can get spread and can help them. Social media played a key role in helping the people. The media took affect and action took place and the present Hosni Mubarak got removed which would be the decline. The movement got them freedom of speech, justice, and being able to have different religions.
    The killing of Oscar was filmed on cameras and on cellphone and uploaded to different social media sights. This was an innocent civilian getting killed. I think since it was upload on social media the public was able to see it first hand, listen to it, and be able to make comments about it.
    I think social media has helped different social movement take place. Social media can show the world what is really happening and I think it is going to help a lot. I believe seeing and hearing is very powerful tool and can help us voice our opinions better. I think social media is changing social movements in general for the better. Social media is able to direct messages to millions of people are around the would rather it be bad or good. Social media is a faster way to spread the news once it is happening.

    1. I agree with the widespread impact that social media has. Anyone with the ability to connect to the internet will be able to see the opinions and thoughts of people who are being directly effected in the situation. This will make it easy to spread the word on any social movement.

    2. Sofia, I agree with social media’s ability to spread news rapidly. Nowadays, having internet access gives anyone the opportunity to have their voice/opinion heard. People do not even have to wait for the event to finish to hear about it, if someone has a smartphone, they can post things live for the world to see.

    3. I definitely agree with the concept of how much the social media has impacted people’s lives today, specifically in reference to getting direct messages, in almost no time, to people around the world. Posting on social media helps movements gain motion significantly faster with the organization of a lot more people for the same cause.

  3. Christiansen argues that social movements go through four stages: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization and decline. Emergence begins with an issue causing widespread public displeasure. Coalescence begins when this public outcry begins to have a focus (who or what is causing this issue) and an organization develops to publicly flex its muscles by means of mass protests, boycotts, walk-outs, etc. Bureaucratization begins when this organization develops a more formalized hierarchy with paid staff. Decline eventually comes, although I appreciated that Christiansen pays equal focus to both negative declines (repression, organizational failure and leadership co-optation) and positive declines (success and establishment with the mainstream).

    Although these stages are great in theory, in the reality of the Egyptian Revolution that played out somewhat differently. Widespread public discontent had left Egypt stagnating in the emergence state for a while. The ElTantawy & Wiest piece lays out the multiple factors that got Egypt from emergence to coalescence: Mohammed ElBaradei, the Tunisian Revolution and finally the death of Khaled Said. What is interesting about social media in the case of Egypt is that it completely changed how the social movement went through the bureaucratization stage. Because of social media, a formal leadership organization was not necessary. Information could be disseminated through the internet and mobile phones about how to protest safely, where to meet up the next day, what people in other countries were doing and it allowed the movement to take full advantage of the diaspora to increase international pressure and attention.

    In the case of Oscar Grant, the emergence stage began with the posting of cellphone footage of his death online. Coalescence happened incredibly quickly with the Grant case for two reasons: YouTube allowed for rapid dissemination of the footage and the mainstream media completely ignored the case, making its dissemination through other channels paramount. Bureaucratization never occurred at all in this case, but it’s not really fair to say that it has declined and disappeared from the public consciousness. A film was made about this case which brought it back into the public focus, and Oscar Grant’s name has become yet another name in a litany of violence that has racked the US in the past few years.

    I do think that social media is changing the nature of social movements and revolutions because it is undermining the resource mobilization theory. If you can start a revolution with nothing but your cell phone, a twitter feed, a YouTube channel, why would you need a formal bureaucracy? Additionally, I think that it is much harder to isolate an issue to one community, meaning that it is easier to reach the critical mass of people necessary to make an impact. But, the problem with social movements in the age of social media is that issue fatigue is prevalent. If you can sign onto Facebook and see six horrible atrocities in your news feed every day, it is easier to become jaded and apathetic.

    1. You made a good point, i don’t believe the social movement has completely declined just that the attention has shifted to similar events in the country. Sadly he has become another name on a growing list of deadly force by police.

    2. Hi Maggie,
      I like your writing style on the last paragraph which is combined with question and strong analysis with examples. I also agree with your opinion on that nothing can be isolated from one community since social media are connecting everyone from all of the world. Good job on your writing!

    3. I agree with your point about the structural differences between the Egyptian Revolution and Christiansen’s model. The major point of difference was between Christiansen’s model and how the revolution played out were the radically different ideas of the bureaucratization stage. I think Christiansen could update his article for the Internet Age.

    4. This is a very impressive analysis of both examples (Egypt and Oscar Grant) and brought up issues that I did not think about until I read this. You make an excellent point about the role of social media taking over the Bureaucratization stage in both situations. There was no particular need for hired workers, etc. due to the complete organization on social media, which individual people around the world did the Bureaucratization job for the social movement.

    5. Maggie, I enjoyed reading your summary and thought you were right when pointing out that even thought there is a model for social movement, oftentimes in the real world it doesn’t play out in that exact way. Also, in your conclusion you say that people could become apathetic if they are constantly being bombarded with seeing so many different social movements online. I think you have a good point there as well, and agree that people may sadly become desensitized.

    6. I completely agree to your statement of apathy. We are exposed to the horrors of the world daily it can become overwhelming and with time it seems to be harder to be passionate of every horror we see eventually causing people to become apathetic easily.

  4. Christensen’s explanation of social movement consists of four stages: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization and decline. He further states that decline does not necessarily have to be a failure, yet social movement can decline in four different ways; repression, co-optation, success and failure. When discussing the first stage of social movement, it is merely to arise awareness among the minority, or discussing an issue within a smaller group of people. There is little to less organization in the strategic discourse that a person or persons are discontent with. The next stage, coalescence, is a stage of unity. The sense of discontent merges to a collective matter for a larger group of people. At this point, prominent leaders are also aiding these mass demonstrations. Bureaucratization is the third stage when the demonstrations tend to be more organized and strategies are planned out accordingly. This is also when people rely on a trained staff to carry out the formal organizations, rather than their prestigious leader. The last stage, decline, which consists of further four different ways to decline a social movement are the following. Repression is when the authorities utilize brutal and violent tactics to extinguish a social movement. Co-optation is when the leaders of the movement are “paid off” with huge amount of money, or they are told to divert the peoples mind just because the opponents have promised the leader a job. There are times when a social movement is a success and has gained their specific goals. The fourth stage is the failure stage, and this too occurs for two reasons: factionalism and encapsulation. Factionalism is when different ideas occur on how the movement should function. Encapsulation is when the movements fail to enlarge due highly committed activist groups.
    The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 commenced with the first stage of social movement. Many people were unsatisfied and upset with the way President Hosni Mubarak had kept the country under his rule for 30 years. In this revolution, the people were discontent with the low-wages, unemployment and other such factors. One word spread from another, and hence a majority group of people decided to take action against the injustice that the whole country was suffering because of Mubarak’s regime. Ultimately, after an 18-day of mass protests and demonstrations against Mubarak, he resigned. The decline was a success, and the country was finally free. During the protests, social media played a major role for the Egyptians. Through, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other such resources of social media, people were spreading the word and letting the world know what is happening in Egypt, and also it was their means of communicating and getting aid from the Tunisians.
    In the case of Oscar Grant’s killing, many people who witnessed Grant’s incident took film on their cameras and cellphones, and hence uploaded to YouTube. The incident was put out to the world for them to view it. Some people had negative comments on the videos and some had rather positive comments.
    Social media nowadays assist in spreading news and messages across the globe. I think it is the fastest way to communicate with one another, and it has helped the social movement and revolution to progress forward with a success, as we read about the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Social media plays a major and an influential role to spread the news across the world for billions to see and hear.

    1. I agree that one of the most important contribution of social media is its ability to move and spread the information quickly around the city, state, country, and the world. In addition, it allows people to communicate and interact with each other which helps the movement to be planned and organized. I also think that when people take advantage of social media, the social movement could be much more successful!

    2. Hi! I agree that social media is able to move/speak information very fast. I also think that social movement play a major role in everything that we do and it is very influential. Good post I enjoyed reading it.

  5. Christiansen explains that social movements do not necessarily have just one shared definition, but rather are varied, as are the causes they support. That being said, social movements do have shared common aspects; such as that they bring groups together to overcome a shared struggle. Most basically, social movements are a collective act against a certain conflict that the group is trying to defeat. The four stages of a social movement are: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. Emergence is the first stage, at this point the movement has no concrete foundation and is rather the rise of common discontent. The second stage coalescence, is when the people forming and leading the social movement come together and being demonstrations and further strategizing. The third stage bureaucratization, is when the social movement moves to a formal organization with an actual staff. The last stage, decline, is the end of the mass movement and it can occur because of repression, co-optation, success, and failure, and establishment within the mainstream.

    The case of the Egyptian revolution is a good example of the above four stages of a social movement. The initial discontent that was felt by the citizens was the emergence stage; this was before any true group was formed, yet uneasy and displeasure with the government was being felt by much of the population. Next the coalescence stage began as Egyptian citizens started to share their viewpoints and need for change on social media, i.e. twitter, Facebook, etc. This stage brought about a more organized social movement structure and people were about to share their feelings and have discussions online and then in person in the organized demonstrations. The next stage bureaucratization could be felt from the support of ElBaradei who was a prominent and well-known supporter of the push for a new government/president. The final stage was decline, which for the Egyptian citizens and many supporters of the movement around the world came when the president Mubarak resigned on February 11th. The brutal police killing of Oscar Grant had a similar effect on social movement, because of the videos that were taken by bystanders at the metro, a social movement began that wanted police brutality to be addressed.

    I think that both of the examples above highlights that social media has a great affect on the world and that social media is changing the nature of social movements and revolution today. Because governments are now not able to hide their injustices and the media are not the only ones who expedite news, people and social movements can be heard a lot more readily.

    1. Kseniya, your application of the four stages to the Egyptian revolution is very clear to understand. I also like your comment about how social media makes it difficult for governments to hide injustice.

    2. I like your explanation on why and how social media is changing the nature of social movement and revolution and I love how you stated further reasons in short details to point out why we think it is effective.

    3. I really found your identification of ElBaradei as the bureaucratization stage to be on point! I was struggling to find a parallel to that stage within the Egyptian Revolution.

    4. Keniya, your post is concise and to the point. I enjoyed reading how you explained the four stages in simple words, and applied it to the Egyptian Revolution. I agree with you that media is not the only source to spread the news, but it’s rather the people and the social movement that rises awareness about any injustice that is being done.

    5. I like your idea that now with social media, governments won’t be able to hide certain injustices. As we saw from the examples of the readings, social media is such a great tool to see what actually is happening.

  6. Christiansen describes social movement as a group that stands up for the discontent that its members feel toward a certain reform, changing or existing lifestyle or government. Furthermore, he describes the four stages of the life cycle of social movements: Emergence, Coalescence, Bureaucratization and Decline. In the stage of Emergence, an individual may just feel discontent in themselve or they may tell their family members or people that are close to them. However, in the stage of Coalescence, individuals with discontent may start to recognize each other and may start to come together to form an informal group. At this point they do not have access to the political parties. When this group moves to the third stage of Bureaucratization, group starts to shape into a formal organization. Furthermore, paid members are also needed to fulfill the space of members that are not present due to difficulties in mobilization and also because some members might leave. Then, the group might move to the last stage which is decline and this will happen because of success, failure, co-optation (blindly trusting centralized authority), or repression (when authorities take steps to outlaw the social movement group).

    Egyptian revolution illustrates this idea of social movement. It goes through the 4 stages mentioned in Christiansen’s explanation. At the beginning stage of Emergence, people are just talking about the discontent that they feel because of Mubarak’s government due to the unemployment, torture and corruption. Then, the country moved on to the next step which is Coalescence. In this stage, individuals that feel this same discontent start to know about each other and start to come together for a common goal. In this case, Mohammad El Baradei – Nobel Prize winner forms a group called National Association for Change” for the revolution. Moreover, he and many activists that supported him start to demonstrate their unity through Social Media. Then, this social movement moves on to the third stage which is Bureaucratization, in which now they have more members, who are directed to start the revolution on January 25, 2011 by Omar Afifi, who has seek refuge in U. S. from Egypt’s government. After 18 days, this social movement declines due to success, this is the last stage.

    In the case of Oscar Grant’s killing, these 4 stages took place through Social Media. In the first stage of Emergence, the by standers that were making the video felt a responsibility to upload that video because they felt discontent in themselves about what they saw. In the next stage of Coalescence, Social Media users started to comment on the videos that were posted, some comments were encouraging; however, some were also harsh. In the next stage of Bureaucratization, there are unpaid volunteer of You Tube as mentioned in the article that kept on adding comments to the videos and represented the non-elite views. Then, there was a decline. This decline did not happen because of repression which took place when the Police Officers tried to take cell phones from the by standers. Instead, it declined due to the success, which was former Officer Mehserle’s arrest.

    Yes, I think that social media is changing the nature of social movements and revolutions today in a positive and effective way. In the Egyptian revolution, with other leading causes such as, Tahrir’s Square, Tunisia’s successful revolution and death of Khaled Said, Social Media contributed greatly in the success of this revolution. Just think, a revolution that starts and ends in only 18 days, this means that the communication and understanding between the activists had to be very strong and frequent and this was not possible without Social Media. In Oscar Grant’s killing the social movement took place on Social Media. Without the video postings and comments, this social movement would have been a failure.

    1. I thought that the four stages of social movement was not complete for the Oscar Grant shooting incident. However, after I read your explanation, the four stages became more clear. Thank you for the clarification!

    2. I agree completely with what you say about the Egyptian revolution. I enjoyed reading it. I was not unaware by the revolution on January 25th,2011 by Omar Afifi who has seek refuge in the United states from Egypt Government. Thank you for the great explanation.

    3. I’m really glad that you brought up Omar Afifi. I think that he played such an important role and I didn’t know how to include him in my discussion. I think that how you incorporated him into your analysis was perfect.

    4. It is amazing how social media helped to end the Egyptian revolution as quickly as it did. 18 days is an incredibly short amount of time. People would need to look no further than that to see the impact that social media has on these movements.

    5. Nice job incorporating all the stages into the killing of Oscar. I followed the Egyptian revolution alot and it falls in line with what I deal with at work. It’s an interesting and violatile subject because everyday there was a big issue being raised. From violence to leadership being involved, social media spreads like wild fire in the worldwide society. Nice piece of writing !!!

  7. Social movements go through four different stages, according to Jonathan Christiansen. The first stage is general discontent within a specific group of people over a law, societal norm, or an injustice. It is important to note that the discontent people have not organized at this point, but rather only have personal issue with the oppressing law, unjust norm, or immoral act. Activists do make their grievances known at this point. The second stage begins the foundation of unity, coordination, and leadership over an issue. At this point, activists create local organizations and smaller protests begin. Next, a social movement would begin to have wide spread support, and all smaller level organizations begin to communicate and even have political power at the national level, or the highest level that they intended on achieving. From there, the social movement ends with either the government or society using force to eliminate the organization, leaders of the movement will become integrated into society, the movement will have some sort of organizational failure, or they will become successful and no longer need to protest.

    Both the outrage to the killing of Oscar Grant and the Egyptian Revolution follow these stages as the movements gained popularity, and used social media to increase the speed of social movement and increased the audience for the effort. In the case of the Oscar Grant killing, the witnesses who filmed the incident used social media to show their outrage. Then, some of the viewers of the uploaded videos organized and demanded retaliation for the life lost, which resulted in the resignation of the officer and his eventual arrest. In Egypt, the constant corruption, oppression and lack of transparency began to irritate the people. However, it took thirty years for the Egyptians to rebel against former President Hosni Mubarak. Social media was the tool that protesters used to organize the rebellion, led by Mohamed ElBaradei. Eventually, they also became successful when Mubarak resigned from office and the people of Egypt elected a new leader.

    Social media has both a positive and negative effect concerning social movements. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other websites are excellent ways for people to express messages to people who usually have similar interests. This would make the first two steps move rapidly and potentially globally, whereas methods outside of the internet would take longer and be more localized. However, it is also easy for opponents of the social movement to damage the movement’s progress by convincing people to join their point of view on the issue. In addition, reliance on social media can be difficult in nation-states that have internet censorship laws. These laws could potentially take down any activist’s attempt to gain support. Communication is necessary for social movements to flourish. Social media can increase the speed and audience of any social movement, but their opponent can easily disable these advantages.

    1. I enjoyed the fact that you pointed out the potential pitfalls of social media in regard to social movements. I think the point about censorship is especially relevant in these times as repressive regimes increasingly realize that control of the Internet and social media may need to become a key aspect of controlling populations. Social media could hinder social movements as much as it could help them.

  8. Christiansen’s describes social movement and its four stages in Emergence, Coalescence, Bureaucratization and Decline. He starts off first with Emergence stage, which is a stage with little to no organization. In this stage the participants are widely discontent regards to some policy or social conditions. This Emergence stages starts most likely with individual rather than collective action. Christiansen ends the emergence stage describing it as the beginning of the stage. The second stages he describes is Coalescence, which is described as the social movements that has many obstacles that they never over come. It is never successful because the information in a community is not being shared or the team/community are not working together. Stage 3 deals with Bureaucratization, which has had the most success. This is a stage where awareness has been raised. People and community rely on each other to pass the information, as team is specialized and experience knowledge. And finally the last stage, which is Decline. Sometimes social movements are declined due to the rapid expansion and the community is not able to handle it properly. Or there are tremendous amount of violence that occurs to destroy a social movement therefore it results to failure or in another words (Decline). The Egyptian Revolution begins with the first stage, which is emergence. Citizen of Egypt were not happy under President Hosni power. The Egyptians were not given the full right in their own country. There was much more poverty, no jobs and very low wages. Individuals started to speak their mind and one thing led to another and soon the whole country wanted to end the regime of President Hosni. Lots of violence erupted; many were killed and lost their family. Many still kept protesting and in the end it was successful. Egypt was free from President Hosni Rule. People all over the world got to view this enormous change thanks to the media we have now. Many participated from foreign country providing aid such as foods and clothes for the once that had been hurt during the violence. Oscar Grant killing was seen by many people as it was recorded and uploaded in social media for the whole world to watch. People regardless of where they are can easily find out what’s happening in the other side of the world, which is possible due to the Social Media and Internet. I think social media is changing the nature of the social movement, because we get exposed to certain idea or belief so fast and easily. We are able to communicate with each other in matter of second and this is why it has become a huge changing moment for social movement.

    1. Alisha,
      You provided good information on how revolution happened in Egypt and pointed out the international help for the revolution to be successful. Even though you mentioned that international community became aware of the Egypt’s circumstances through social media, it would be more complete if you had provided more information about the role of social media in detail like the way you did in the case of Oscar Grant.

  9. Jonathan Christiansen describes social movements as informal social groups that take a particular side of a conflict/issue in order to gain a specific goal. There are four stages which include emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. Emergence is the beginning of a social movement which is characterized by common discontent concerning an issue and a lack of organization. There can be actions taken by individuals to raise awareness or talks amongst people about the problem, but there is no formation of groups or collective action to do anything about the problem yet. The next stage is coalescence which is when there is a greater spread of discontent among people, a known responsible party for the problem, the formation of a group, leadership is chosen, strategies are made, movements begin to occur, and demands for change are made by the group. The third stage is bureaucratization where the organization reaches more complex political strategies, trained staff is leading the movement, and there are talks with political officials or other politically powerful people. Many movements do not make it this far or have difficulty sustaining the movement for an extended period of time. The final stage is decline which could mean several things. It could mean that the movement was repressed by authorities be it through laws or violent repression. The movement could have been co-opted, in which central leaders have joined the target groups either to make a difference or to switch sides. The movement can end in success and stop or end in success and create new goals and continue to be active. The movement could also fail by having the organization split.
    The Egyptian revolution is a prime example of a successful social movement. The people in the country began having widespread discontent with the government due to leadership, poor economic and socio-political conditions, lack of transparency in government processes, and corrupt officials. As the discontent grew people began to come together and protest in person and online through social media. Many formed online groups as well as mass movements in places like Tahrir Square. The leader Hosni Mubarak became the target of the group and goal became to kick him out of power. Networks were formed through Facebook and Twitter and people from other countries began to support the movement. The movement was eventually a success when they ousted Mubarak out of office, however it remains to be seen if lasting peace can stay in Egypt. This case can be thought of as a smaller part of a larger social movement going on in the Middle East, the Arab Spring.
    The case of Oscar Grant was also a social movement, but in a difference sense than the Egyptian revolution. The majority of the discontent was online and it grew as videos of the shooting spread. The social movement advanced to the third stage when the case went to court. In the end the cop was convicted and served time, however this case can also be seen as a smaller part of a larger social movement, the movement against racism and police brutality. This movement has seen a recent resurgence with the Michael Brown cases and the several other publicized cases of police brutality against black males that followed the months after. This social movement continues to rage on and has yet to reach the stage of decline. However, people have followed suit by being active citizen journalists by taking videos, pictures, and live tweeting as these events happen and at protests similar to how social media was used during the Egyptian Revolution.
    Social media has most definitely become a central part to the advancement of social movements as shown by the Egyptian Revolution and the protests going on in the U.S. against police brutality and structural racism. It has given a voice to the marginalized to combat the monopoly of information spread by those in power. No longer does information flow from central sources but between everyone and from everywhere. Social media will prove to be an important tool in the fight to change existing power structures around the world.

    1. Ryan, I really like how you connected the social movement started through the Oscar Grant case to recent cases like Michael Brown in Ferguson. It certainly is a “recent resurgence.” The social movement against police brutality and structural racism in the U.S. is one that is capturing the attention of the world. Active citizen journalism and the use of social media is surely expediting this: the circulation of footage of Michael Brown’s body lying in the streets, or of 12-year old Tamir Rice in Ohio killed by the police is what stirred our entire nation.

    2. Ryan,
      Very well developed response especially the last part where you explained the role of social media and citizen journalism to spread the news and attract attention when there is conflict between the cause and the interest of those in power.

    3. Hey Ryan,

      Your response was very detailed and interesting to read, especially the Social media that has become the main focus in the Egyptian Revolution. Yes, I think social medial will become an important tool in the future as well.

  10. According to Christiansen, social movements are made up of social entities which organize themselves through informal networks to achieve their goals. Social movement includes four stages. First stage is the emergence where there is a popular dissatisfaction but there is no collective action. In the second stage, coalescence, people realize that they are not the only ones with discontent and start to organize themselves with a leader and plan collective actions with strategies. In the next stage of bureaucratization, more advanced and collective strategies are needed. Therefore, there should be educated staffs, specialists, and professionals who can perform and execute the social movement. Finally, the social movement experiences a stage called decline. According to Miller, social movements can decline through four ways. First is by repression from the authorities which makes it impossible for the social movement to continue. Second way is co-optation where the movement leaders get hired by their movement targets to work for them. Third is by the success of the social movement. Social movements with definite goals often succeed and decline because the problem has been solved. Fourth is by the failure of the movement due to factionalism and encapsulation.
    The four stages of social movement by Christiansen are illustrated in the Egyptian revolution. The revolution began because there were bad sociopolitical, political, and economic climates which caused widespread discontent among the citizens of Egypt. As they realize that they are not the only ones with the dissatisfactions, people start to form organizations for the social movement. One example is the National Association for Change which was founded by Elbaradel and others. The members of this organization included politicians, intellectuals, and activists who would be able to plan and carry out the social movement. Finally, the Egyptian revolution declines with the success of the social movement. Similarly, the Oscar Grant shooting incident shows some stages of the social movement. As the video that filmed the police killing an innocent and unarmed citizen is uploaded on social media, it brings controversies over the actions of the police as well as the person who filmed the video. Many people show their discontent by leaving comments and participating in heated discussions online.
    I think that the social media are changing the nature of social movements and revolution today. To begin with, it allowed fast mobilization of information where people can instantly get and post updated information through social media such as Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. Moreover, social media allowed people to communicate and interact with various people. It made it possible for online meetings and gatherings to be held to organize and plan the movement. Not only that, it allowed people to express their beliefs and ideas, comment on others, and engage in discussions. Finally, social media contributed to high participation rate due to relative safety.

    1. Julia,
      It’s interesting that you bring up the point of how social media provides a safer means of protest. It would be interesting to see how many people who partake online in a social movement are/would be deterred by going to movements/protests due to possible safety concerns and how this number would change in different parts of the world. Will there ever be a world where all protesting is done online?

  11. Social movements are a gathering of individuals who share the same displeasure on a central issue and seek to make a difference to achieve a set of goals. The movements are neither completely formal nor informal but are organized concerned people. Christiansen describes an outline of stages that most social movements follow to achieve their goals. The first stage is emergence, when individuals begin noticing an issue that doesn’t sit right with them. People begin to speak about it among themselves, their families and peers. The second stage is coalescence this is when the issue is clearly stated with a certain understanding between everyone it concerns. This is when collective demonstrations begin and there is a show of numbers and strength. The third stage is bureaucratization that is when a movement becomes formal with paid staff and dedicated members to accomplish the goals. During this stage movements carry more power and say because they communicate and interact with officials directly. Lastly a majority of social movements face decline, this occurs in several different ways. Repression is a cause of decline because officials use violence and intimidation to bring down the movement. Another is co-optation, when movement leaders are persuaded to accept deals to redirect movements or join internal departments to enact change. Success is also a decline factor because movements may grow too large to control and begin to break down. Lastly failure is an obvious decline of movements because factions form within creating rifts and tight cliques form discouraging new comers.

    Such cases as the Egyptian uprising and the death of Oscar Grant illustrate the power of movements across the world. Due to social media, social movements can be beginning with the voices of a few people, an image, or clip and spread like wildfire. The video of Oscar Grant being shot or the disapproving opinions of the Egyptian people on twitter serve as the emergence stage. It took a single video to stir mass protests on the police brutality and misconduct. Young Egyptians found their voices on the Internet and rallied others with the same views to take their opinions to the streets of Cairo. This sparked mass protests and unification under one goal to change the ruling body. Social movements are very powerful and with the right resources can alter nations and the future. Social media has played a large role in providing resources to educate individuals and provide an outlet for people to stand up for what they believe in. Social movements and revolutions will never be the same as before because live sharing of events that would have been silenced before are echoed globally. Movements are no longer the issue and focus of just the people it is affecting but everyone in the world who sympathizes with the movement. Unlike before where a movement took place only in a single state or country, social movements now span continents. Following the New Orleans shootings of several teenagers, riots and peaceful protests broke out across the nation. These protests were planned through social media and echoed across the world with support from European, Middle Eastern, even Asian countries. The Internet has forever changed how people handle discontent with an issue and proved to be a powerful tool for all social movements.

    1. Salim,
      You make a good point by saying that social media has made it possible for social movements to span across states and continents. The Internet has made a huge difference in the success of movements. The Internet is one of the few things that can be considered a part of the commons. People should make sure to keep it that way, because should governments be able to privatize it and have greater control of it these cross-border social movements would not be successful.

    2. Hey Salim,

      I completely agree with you when you say that the “internet has forever changed how people handle discontent”. I think lot of the news we are hearing today would not have been possible if we didn’t have strong social media. Like you said it has been a strong tool for all social movements.

  12. Christiansen explains what social movements are and how they work by describing their life span using four stages: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization and decline. According to him, all movements go through the emergence stage. At this stage, the movement is very preliminary, unorganized but with a shared widespread discontent among its participants. The second stage is coalescence, in which individuals participate in collective behavior and the earlier establishments of leadership begin. Third, is bureaucratization, the movement now has higher levels of organization, to include trained staff and access to certain political elites. However, not all movements go through this stage, as some like to avoid any association to politics and remain loyal to their initial ideals. Last, is decline, which does not necessarily mean failure. A social movement can decline for 5 different reasons: repression, co-optation, success, failure and establishment with mainstream. As far as the Egyptian revolution goes, I believe that it illustrated all stages of what Christiansen describes as a social movement. However, based on the article that we read, I believe that the coalescence stage had greater impact on the revolution than the ‘bureaucratization’ stage. With the help of social media, protesters, both inside and outside of Egypt, were able to participate in the revolution. Individual participants were able to engage in collective behavior, new leadership and strategies were established, and mass demonstrations occurred regardless of location. Social media also allowed the promotion of a stronger sense of community and collective identity, along with grabbing local and international attention. The killing of Oscar Grant also illustrates the idea of a social movement and the importance of social media in its development. The emergence stage is illustrated as the video goes viral and causes discontent among those who watch it. The rapid distribution and easy Internet access, for some people, also caused individuals to act collectively in their protests. I believe that social media is changing the nature of what a social movement is and will continue to do as technology is constantly evolving. Social media now allows a citizen to have more participation and exposure in a social movement. When once a citizen was only a participant or a follower of a movement, with social media the same citizen can become part of the leadership or even begin his/her own movement. Social media can be a helpful tool, but only if the movement is properly organized around it, which is harder to do in practice. As seen in the Oscar Grant video, the comments were not always positive of the person who recorded it, many judged the lack of action and passivity when witnessing such a violent act. Social movements are important in the course and changes of society and now with the development and use of social media, their importance is higher, the only concern would be to be mindful and keep in mind the ways in which social media could harm said movement.

    1. Julia, your post was detailed and thorough. I also believe that social movements play a major role in changing the society, and the social media playing an equally influential role to get the news across the world in seconds.

  13. According to Christiansen, a social movement is an organized, yet sometimes informal, group of social entities working to tackle a systemic conflict through clearly defined goals. He explains there are four stages (emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline), noting, however, that not every social movement experiences all stages due to varying circumstances and goals. Emergence is the initial stage, where individuals may raise consciousness around issues, but lack organization. In the coalescence stage, there is a more defined sense of dissatisfaction. What was once an individual, uncoordinated effort becomes collaborative with leadership roles transpiring. Bureaucratization is the formalization of the movement, characterized by high levels of strategic organization, trained (often paid) staff, and greater political power and networks. Finally, the decline stage emerges due to repression (authorities take measures to control or destroy movement via law or violence), co-optation (movement leaders prioritize authorities instead of movement constituents), success (movement achieves all its goals), failure (movement falls to factionalism and encapsulation), or establishment with the mainstream (movement’s goals become integrated with society).

    The Egyptian Revolution and killing of Oscar Grant both illustrate the idea of a social movement, particularly highlighting how social media can expedite the four stages. In the case of Egypt, the citizens endured life under a dictator for over thirty years, which caused longstanding discontent over issues of corruption, freedom, and economic opportunities – this can be classified under the emergence stage, as for most of thirty years, there was no organized effort to tackle the systemic issues. Mohamed ElBaradei changed all of this through his formation of the National Association for Change, which brought together politicians, activists, and intellects who advocated change and democracy and helped initiate the protests. Social media then enabled individual protestors to take swift action: through Facebook and Twitter, Egyptians organized and connected with one another, whether it was expressing outrage over Mubarak, or planning protests in Tahrir Square. The ultimate success of this revolution is often debated, but the specific goal of removing Mubarak from office and holding an election was surely accomplished. This revolution could not have occurred so quickly if it were not for social media. The tools of social media were vital in accelerating the entire movement through swift organization, widespread participation and dissemination of knowledge, and international appeal and recognition which put forth pressure on the Egyptian government.

    As for Oscar Grant, social media was what started the small social movement in California towards racial justice, which was ultimately spread across the United States. The killing of Grant was filmed by several witnesses, who used social media to express outrage and demand justice. There were protests immediately – with all kinds of Americans gathering together in unity – and the officer who killed Grant resigned and was eventually arrested.

    Both the Grant and Egyptian case highlights how powerful social media can be, and how it is changing the landscape of social movements. On one hand, social media prove vital in quickly disseminating knowledge, engaging in socio-political discussions about various issues, and organizing all kinds of individuals from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Anyone [who has Internet access] can essentially join a social movement and gain access to knowledge that was once limited to the privileged. On the other hand, however, it is easy for false information to spread through social media. There are also concerns over a lack of central authority or organization. Nonetheless, I believe social media will play an instrumental role in our ever-globalized society characterized by interconnected social, political, and economic systems.

    1. Hi Tabatha,
      I agree with you on how powerful social media can be within social movement specifically and has played such an instrumental role in today’s society. I like how you mentioned the fact that unfortunately, people can provide false information which questions the validity of everything found on social media. This is something crucial I forgot to write about. Thanks for sharing!

    2. I agree with your points; social media is actually now too playing an instrumental role in the societies. It is very easy with social media to see if there are any social movements and getting involved in it.

    3. I like that you pointed out that it is easy for false information to spread through social media. It makes it difficult for people to separate from truth and lie and thus I think desensitizes us to whatever it is we see on the internet – no matter how horrible. Not to say people ignore it, it is just a matter of judgement on whether to take something seriously or not. Though I do agree that social media will definitely play an instrumental role in our world.

  14. According to Christiansen, all social movements have a goal. This goal is worked towards by the people within the movement to organize feuds, disputes, and/or clashes. Social movements are organized and are not created out of nowhere. A policy or action fuels this rage therefore people upset with rage gather and begin this social movement to work towards their goal. People can organize themselves and different events, though it is not an official or authorized entity. They raise extra conflict towards a policy, institution, etc.

    There are four stages in the social movement life cycle: Emergence, Coalescence, Bureaucratization, and Decline. Emergence, aforementioned, is the state in which no actual organization is created though there is a shared discontent among people due to an action or policy, etc. People may begin to talk about the issue and news outlets may even cover the topic specifically, not the public’s discontent just yet. The Coalescence stage focuses on the mass’ discontent. Those upset in the previous stage become aware that there are others just as unhappy. People start to point fingers at those responsible and the people come together to strategize on how to overturn this ruling, for example. Leaders may start to emerge, such as MLK in the civil rights movement. Bureaucratization is the stage in which the political powers of the social movement masses begin to increase and intensify. Trained staff must be a part of this stage and mass rallies cannot be the sole reliance on achieving the main goal. Civil rights organizations begin to emerge and have an effect on society as they do today still. Decline is the final stage in which 4 outcomes can occur. First is repression, when the authorities, sometimes with force, can repress a movement. Second is Co-optation, where social movements can slowly take on other values rather than the values of the particular movement. Success is also a potential outcome of decline because when social movements achieve their goals, they succeed therefore decline. Failure is an outcome as well. Organizations may fail in achieving the movement’s goals.

    Using the Egyptian revolution as an example, this is an example of a powerful social movement. The people, discontent with the government and specifically the President, hosted rallies each and everyday until successfully achieving their goal to have President Mubarak resign. The Oscar Grant killing is another event that sparked a social movement where an unarmed black man was held down, shot and killed by California police. This was captured on camera. This event led to many online and offline protests and widespread discussion on police brutality. I would say this social movement partially succeeded. I say this specific case succeeded because the officer who shot Grant was found guilty and convicted, though, it failed in a way because events like Oscar Grant shooting still are widely seen today all around the United States. The police brutality social movement is still in the works.
    Social media is without a doubt changing the nature of movements and revolutions today. In the Egyptian revolution, videos, tweets, Facebook posts were all surfacing the Internet, which sparked outcry throughout the world. We saw firsthand what citizens were encountering. The Oscar Grant case also was widely talked about because people videotaped this shooting. Thankfully some videos were not confiscated and were leaked on the Internet and this was used as evidence during the trial. I am sure if this evidence was not found, the officer would never have been convicted. Social media has drastically changed the nature of social movements today for the better, I believe. Authority figures used to have more of a powerful voice but with social media, the people have just as much of a powerful voice as the authorities do.

  15. Christiansen posits a theory in which he defines four stages of the development of social movements, to include: “emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline” (Christiansen, 2009, p. 01). He goes over the history of a few social movements, mostly in the United States, and notes that they never come together overnight – but that they have to grow throughout the four stages noted previously. He defines these movements as “organized yet informal social entities that are engaged in extra-institutional conflict that is oriented towards a [narrow or broad] goal” (Christiansen, 2009, p. 01). He reviews work of some earlier scholars on the study of social movements. He goes over in more depth the different stages of social movements, and provides some examples of movements for each stage, and goes a little more into depth in the last stage and four different types of ways that social movements can fall into decline. He also notes that some scholars point to a fifth reason that social movements can decline due to the movements ideology becoming widely accepted and mainstream, leaving no reason for a social movement past that stage. Christiansen goes on to highlight some applications for the theory for social scientists, as we can learn and apply lessons from social movements throughout history to apply to new movements as they gather. He also discusses a few limitations of the theory. Overall, I did not think that he added any new or groundbreaking material to what previous scholars had done on the subject of social movements, but I do think it was a decently clear and succinct enough synthesis of the previous scholars work on the subject of the development of social movements.
    Eltantawy & Wiest explored elements of the 2011 Egyptian uprising in the context of resource mobilization theory, examining the use of social media as a resource in the social movements of today, such as in their specific case study of the Egyptian uprising. While the paper mostly examined the Egyptian uprising under the scope of resource mobilization, it also examines factors, events, and conditions that led to the uprising that aligns with the theory of development that Christiansen discussed, and also discussed some other factors that played a role in the uprising, such as geography. They also note that social media, as a resource, acted as a way for those normally ” “resource poor” actors, offering a means for mass communication that may have previously been restricted by financial, temporal, or spatial constraints” ( Eltantawy & Wiest 2011, p 1208). In other words, it was a way for persons with limited or no access to any other older conventional resources (fax, printing flyers, or other media) to communicate easily through their phones and computers with others inside and outside of the social movement almost instantly, or as Eltantawy & Wiest put it; “Social media introduced a novel resource that provided swiftness in receiving and disseminating information; helped to build and strengthen ties among activists; and increased interaction among protesters and between protesters and the rest of the world“ (Eltantawy & Wiest 2011, p 1218). In the light of the stages of development of social movements as previously discussed by Christiansen, social media use in the Egyptian uprising helped things progress through the initial stages of development and coalescence much more quickly than it could have on its own, to which it’s difficult to say if that specific movement may have developed in the same way, or if at all, without the presence of social media.
    In regards to the killing of Oscar Grant, Antony and Tomas note another important facet of social media – and that is citizen journalism. Without the citizens who recorded the footage of Grant’s killing, and subsequently avoided confiscation of their phones and evidence, it is unlikely that the facts surrounding the case would have been presented in the same light by the traditional media, if they would even pick it up as a new-worthy topic to report on at all (which aligns with Antony and Tomas’ discussion in regards to the agenda-setting influence of the mass media.) (Antony & Tomas, 2010, p. 1282). In the same light – those on the streets and involved with the Egyptian uprising acted as citizen journalists in this same manner – even after internet services were cut to try to hamper their communication, they still found ways to get messages out through social media. Without their communication and actions, had the events been interpreted and reported by the Egyptian media (with likely an even stronger agenda-setting mindset than even western media) it would have significantly affected how the rest of the world saw the events, and also would have likely hampered the movement, with less persons being informed of the full scope of the event, and thus less persons would have been incited to join the uprising. It is undeniable that social media is changing the face of social movements today, but I believe the most powerful facets of it are the aspect of citizen journalism, and the aspect of instant communication – and the ease of convergence of multitudes of persons communicating on the same topic, without actually having to expend much time or effort to seek each other out – as through Twitter, for example. In regards to citizen journalism – it is an extremely powerful thing, and is a form of communication that can seem more real, more relateable, and more powerful than the cut-and-edited for content bytes that traditional media can give. I know for example that after the chemical attacks in Syria, when it was still being debated if was indeed a chemical attack, or who had perpetrated it . . . there were some videos that were circulating around on facebook – of first-hand experiences of Syrians in the midst of persons suffocating, and dying by chemical asphyxiation. It was extremely raw and
    powerful, and incited me towards anger at those who argued that it wasn’t a chemical attack at all. . . which were often opinions informed by the traditional media in the earliest days of the events. That said, it makes it very apparant to me how much more powerful first-hand citizen reporting can be over the traditional media, and I understand how it can actually incite people more readily and easily to become passionate about something, and can actually be a huge factor in starting a social movement, or move them along the stages of development of the movement much faster.

    1. It is good practice to refer to the authors of the texts, as you do here – that will be helpful for your research project and midterm exam. This is a good example to follow.

    2. hey, I agree with the statements regarding Christensen, I also like the way you presented the writing. Nice critical thinking and incorporating all of the authors ideas into your piece. As far as first hand citizen reporting, I can’t agree more. I think it’s the future and the better and more rapid we can activate our cameras the better our capabilities will be, not to mention camera quality.

  16. Social Movements in a Global Age
    The “Four Stages of Social Movements” by Jonathan Christiansen introduces a compartmentalized theory of how Social Movements form and operate. It’s interesting in his words how he breaks it down into four stages, but also can’t help agree. The description of it being neither a political party nor interest group is rather accurate even though the structure later on does take a similar shape. Christiansen explains the four stages beginning with ‘Emergence’, described as widespread discontent with a movement of people being unhappy with a policy or condition. There ought to be a social movement for taxes by now one would think! In the emergence stages is where the chit chat of wanting to be heard and screaming for social injustice start to breed. Modern day social media and news may start to report the dissatisfied people, this is also where we can locate the most important person, the Agitator. This person plays a significant role in the first stage, not only do they tend to have the most discontent in the matter but also summon the demons to start the movement, it be violent or not.
    The second stage is ‘Coalescence’, where the actual masses begin to take shape. The leaders are sorted out, people become aware of one another, and most importantly they have a focalized subject that collectively it placed on the front of their swords. This is also called the ‘popular stage’, originating its name obviously from the mass people following the movement. Government and local officials begin to tune their ear in this stage because it passes the typical unrest. The next stage is ‘Bureaucratization’, or the forming of the movement. At this stage the movement is gaining momentum and is organized with a hierarchy that we see in our modern corporations. You know the ones where the big people who do nothing all day tell the small people what to do and risk everything for? Sound familiar? The final stage brings us to the ‘Decline’, doesn’t represent failure, the perhaps their mission is complete or another solution is provided. Repression, Co-optation, Success or Failure are among this stage and can impact the mission of the movement in multiple ways. Movements still have a strong force in the world, once they master the organizational part they will be even more popular and powerful in the future.
    The Egyptian revolution and killing of Oscar Grant are movements that make their voice heard through violence. What we see is they don’t feel they are being taken serious enough by either their local or federal governments. In turn, they protest, during these protests all it takes is for the agitators or someone (police for instance) to trigger a full blown riot. This is where it gets scary, when you have agitated people with the mentality of ‘nothing to lose everything to gain’, anything can happen and it’s through police killings or heavy rioting in the streets like we saw in Egypt that make national headlines, ultimately a ‘win’ for the movement. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more of these in the future, like we saw in Ferguson and elsewhere, attacks on police and in the cities might be the new movements.
    Social media absolutely changed the landscape for social movements. Through facebook and twitter, millions of people are able to fester their anger, develop strategies and more importantly stay relevant. To think a shooting in a small town of Ferguson made national headlines for weeks, this would be impossible prior to social media. As soon as people are upset, they post, hashtag or take pictures/videos of their anger. We see during the holidays how people will take pictures of manager or stores and describe their poor experience/service and it spreads like wildfire over the web. We are so connected in this age that any tiny match can light up the whole world. We can only imagine what the next 5-10 years look like!

    1. Your analysis about social media is very interesting. I agree that social media has changed the way social movements can communicate but it’s still very important for the movement to maintain leadership, funding, strategies to reach their goals and inner networks (basically the “bureaucratization” stage) to efficiently reach their end goal. Although social media has enormously aided communication and awareness, it needs to work in conjunction with other factors to be wholly effective in the end.

    2. I really like how you cleanly and succinctly defined Christiansen’s 4 stages and made it very easy to understand. Your conclusion is also really well done and thought provoking, as it is extremely interesting to think about how social media may affect social movements in the coming years as it evolves and becomes more ingrained into our society and way of life.

  17. Christiansen explains a social movement as being a complex definition that includes an informal social organization, which is engaged in conflict and that is striving towards a certain goal. His definition consists of four stages: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. Emergence is the when there is a mass dissatisfaction. This general discontent can consist of a policy or social issue. There is no movement yet towards their goal, if there was then it was completed by the individual, rather than the movement as a whole. The next stage is coalescence, which consist of a clear main goal and who/what is the source of their discontent. This stage is where people become more organized as a whole, rather than just individuals taking action. Bureaucratization is the third stage of social movement. In this stage, the social movement is made into a proper organization with hired specialized staff and more political influence than previously. The final stage is the decline. This stage consists of four ways that it can progress: repression, co-optation, success and failure. Repression is where the political entities end up controlling and repressing social movements by passing certain laws or justifying attacks on their organizations. Co-optation is when the main leader of the social movement identifies with the target of the social movement that they are associated with. Success is one of the ways to decline because it achieved its ultimate goal, thus leading the social movement into decline. Lastly, failure is when the organization of the social movement is unable to hold on to the rapid expansion due to their popularity and success. Some scholars have added a fifth way to decline: establishment with mainstream. This consists of the movement becoming popular culture, thus in not any need for a social movement.
    The case of the Egyptian revolution illustrates this idea of social movements due to the process that it went thought to become a success. It started with a few individuals taking action against being oppressed, and progressed to a major Internet phenomenon. This Internet phenomenon consisted of popular social media sites being used to organize this movement and making the social movement known to the world. In this case of the Egyptian revolution, Christiansen’s stages of social movement are able to be applied though out the entire process of the movement: having a common goal, gaining momentum, creating a social movement organization, although through social media, and being successful.
    The case of the police killing of Oscar Grant it started out with major dissatisfaction in the population, then moved on to creating a goal and establishing who it was against. In this case, it was police officers, but specifically the police officer that shot Oscar Grant. Organization came in part when videos were posted to multiple social media sites and people started commenting on them. Although many disagreed with how the event and aftermath should be handled, most had the same reaction: that it should not have happened. In this case, Christiansen’s stages were not fully completed.
    Overall, I think that social media is definitely changing the nature of social movements and revolutions today. Take the two previous cases for examples; these were both popularized online, created a lot of movement in a relatively short amount of time, and was able to succeed in their goals by using the social media to band together to create, and successfully, accomplish social movements and revolutions.

    1. I completely agree with your statement and although it’s sad to see social unjust it is important to be aware of what is going on in the world. Social media is very influential more so than I think we would like to acknowledge, but I think that although there are downsides there’s definitely positive outcomes from it. I think it can help shape our government and our future because we now have a voice collectively.

    2. I agree with you that social media is revolutionising the nature of social movements. We are able to spread information faster than ever. With the ability to capture video I think we will see more injustices taking place all over the world.

  18. According to the Christiansen text, social movements are “organised yet informal social entities that are engaged in extra-institutional conflict oriented towards a goal”. Herbert Blumer broke down social movements into four stages, which were further refined into the stages we have today. These stages are “Emergence, Coalescence, Bureaucratisation, and Decline”. The first stage of Emergence begins when a person/people become dissatisfied with a certain issue. They may begin to start voicing their opinion and trying to gain some attention. There is some agitation, however there isn’t any real attention brought forth yet. The second stage is Coalescence. In this stage, there is a larger feeling of discontent. There is a more clearly defined role of repressor and repressed, if you will. This is the stage where the issue becomes more widely seen. The third stage is Bureaucratisation. The movement has garnered enough attention and organisation. It has some power and financial backing. The movement begins to rely on trained people to fulfill goals. The fourth and final stage is Decline. Decline isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Movements can decline for many reasons. One reason is that the movement achieved its goal and is no longer relevant. Repression is one negative way that movements can decline. The power authorities have can be used to stamp out social movements either through violent or legal means. Co-optation can also occur. Co-optation occurs when leaders of a movement begin to associate with the authorities in order to further the movement, but become another cog in the system that they were fighting against. Some movements also experience failure. The movement cannot expand as rapidly and fails due to organisational strain.

    The first Egyptian cyberactivism attempt failed and went through the first two stages of a social movement. Activists created a Facebook page with seventy thousand supporters in order to bring together textile workers on strike. However, the strike was vanquished by state security forces. Social media is changing the way social movements are created and spread. With millions of people connecting to each other around the globe every day, ideas and thoughts can be shared almost instantly. When terrorist organisations use social media to spread discord, you know social media has become a large part of daily life. Looking back to 2012, I remember my younger brother coming up to me and asking if I watched the YouTube video on Kony or if I knew who Kony was. I didn’t, so he showed me the film. All of a sudden, all my Facebook friends were posting about how evil this Kony guy was, and how there was going to be a mass movement around the world on a specific date, and how we could buy protest kits. Fast forward to two weeks later, the Kony movement failed because of organisation strain, defamation of the creator of the movement, and general lies. I agree with the text on Oscar Grant and media that media only represents the interests of those in power and with enough financial backing to be relevant. The media acts like a guard dog only for their gain. It is important to have watch dog media to show the other side. I have never read a quote as important as this, “the mass media establish what people think about, if not what they in fact think”. I feel as if this is emphasised every day.

    1. I really like your use of the Kony social movement (“Invisible Children” if I remember correctly?). That really ties together the idea of a emerging social movement with social media communication. I remember at the time I was so surprised by how effective Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube were becoming at supporting social movements but then again, they are not the sole responsible element to keep a movement going. I was rather disappointed when the Kony movement fizzled out, unfortunately in a negative decline, and didn’t see the positive end it could have.

  19. In the Four Stages of Social Movements, Jonathan Christiansen discusses the formation, progression and decline of social movements. His definitions of the four stages of social movements – emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline – were heavily influenced by Herbert Blumer who was one of the earliest scholars to identify the social movement life cycle. The first stage is identified by widespread, but not collective, discontent about a particular topic. In this stage, there is little organization and strategies to achieve a goal are not clearly defined. The next stage, coalescence, is characterized by the coalition of people or groups that have a particular point of view on a topic. During this stage, the coming together of people allow for demonstrations and clear objectives to be created. The next stage, bureaucratization, is when a topic has received enough attention that it has higher levels of organization. According to Christiansen, many social movements end here because of the inability to bureaucratize. The last stage of a social movement is its decline which can occur for several reasons primarily, repression by a higher force, co-optation by an influential leader, success or failure. Christiansen concisely illustrates the life cycle of a social movement which can be seen in the case of Egypt’s revolution and the killing of Oscar Grant.

    The Egyptian Revolution is an example of not only the stages of social movement, but also how social media can influence and possibly expedite the process. Under the dictatorship of President Hosni Mubarak for nearly 30 years, citizens became discontent with the lack of transparency, corruption, and oppression among other problems. Egypt went through the emergence stage for several years as there was a lack of organization despite the dissatisfaction throughout the nation. Mohamed ElBaradei pushed the Egyptian revolution to the coalescence stage by providing support and creating the National Association for Change which brought together people who all had the common goal to protest against Mubarak. This seemed to be the most important stage as social media played a big role in allowing individuals to come together and not only express concerns, but also organize protests. The Egyptian Revolution went through its decline with success, specifically the removal of Mubarak from office. This whole revolution was heavily influenced by social media which accelerated the movement.

    Social media was a vital part of spreading knowledge of the Oscar Grant killing as well. The murder of Grant was filmed by witnesses and despite the efforts of the authority to keep the issue hidden, social media caused an uproar regarding the killing. With videos spreading all over the internet, the social movement gained attention. While this particular event may have not gone through all four stages of social movement, it definitely served as an impetus for a movement towards social justice.

    Social media is definitely changing the nature of social movements in the world as it allows people to stay connected. Situations that call for movements or revolutions are no longer limited to a particular region or group of people. They are open to support or criticism from people all over the world. Additionally, it allows people to stay informed and respond in seconds with multiple different outlets. News channels are no longer the only way to get a message across.

    1. Hi Amneet,
      I agree with your opinion that the Oscar Grant killing may have experienced all four stages of social movement, it produce the motivation for a movement towards social justice. It has showed the power not only from the social media but also the restraint of public morality. Thank you for sharing!

    2. Hi :) I enjoyed reading your work and I was glad to find someone who also thinks that the Grant case did not have all stages of social movement.I literally did alot of research to make sure I was not missing anything in that case.I felt like Bureaucratization was the only stage left out mainly because there are still cases out there today similar to Grant’s case and police still getting away with killing unarmed people.

    3. Hello,

      I agree that social media helped the Oscar Grant case. While authorities tried to make it go away, they couldn’t. It helped put someone who killed another behind bars. It makes me wonder if there had been video taken at the time of the George Zimmerman, Ferguson MO, or Eric Garner would things have turned out differently.

  20. Christiansen’s explanation of social movements’ states that these are organized informal groups with a collective identity that advocate conflicting goals against another actor or institution in order impact a specific or broader policy, and maybe even aim at cultural change. According to Christiansen, scholars have refined and renamed the four stages of social movements: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. The stage of emergence can be explained as the preliminary stage to collective action where certain people are unhappy and recognize an unjust policy. They will get other people’s attention on this issue, like family and friends, in order to raise a sense of discontent among the general population. The coalescence stage or the “popular stage” is the advancement and clear characterization of discontent as they become aware of others that feel the same and begin to form a collective identity. Formation of collective identity may lead to protests and strategies that will make their demands heard. Bureaucratization occurs after successfully having raised awareness that leads to “formalization” of the movement. There is formal staff to rely on in order to carry out daily operation to meet the movement’s goals. The last stage, decline, is not always negative in the sense that movements are bound to fail. Decline includes various ways to phase out social movements. They can either succeed or fail in achieving their goals, and be repressed by authorities or co-opted into bigger organizations.
    The case of the Egyptian Revolution illustrates social movements quite efficiently. The revolution was in its emergence stage when the Egyptian citizens were being agonized by a stifling economy and low transparency of elections. The coalescence stage occurred when Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammed ElBaradei and his associated, as an agitator, called on the country’s youth to advance for a democratic government. This led to a formalization of the movement and later, the decline stage featured repression and then eventual success as President Mubarak was driven out of power. As for the case of Oscar Grant, the role of social media is again facilitating communication for a social movement. The fact that several bystanders were able to record the shooting on their phones and upload it Youtube to communicate the raw happening of events really caught viewers’ attention. The agenda-setting role is on the citizens uploading the video instead of the traditional agenda-setting role that is often associated with the media. This is a strong advantage that citizen journalism and social media have over the new techological era of social movements.
    Social media has impacted social movements’ advancements enormously. Older social movements, before the rise of internet and social media, did not always have the resources to spread their message and raise enough awareness for them to successfully transition from one stage to the other but with social media, communication with mass society has become the common mode. Swiftly exchanging information and disseminating it to millions of people across the globe on a matter of seconds has revolutionized the way activists and participants communicate and raise awareness to the general population. People with access to the internet across the world are now able to participate in cyberactivism.

    1. I agree that social media has revolutionized the way we communicate globally, many examples include the controversy surrounding Eric Garner’s death. I think twitter is powerful in the sense that certain topics trend globally and people are aware of what’s going on. I also like the last sentence, “people with access to the internet across the world are now able to participate in cyberactivism” because I think that it resonates with me personally.

  21. Christiansen explains that there are four stages of social movement: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. Emergence is the first step and is the stage where there is no organization, but there is widespread discontent among the people. It is the start of a potential movement where participants are unhappy and may discuss it with family and friends, but it is not a collective action but more so an individual action. Individuals may share their thoughts to the media which may shed light on a topic and contribute to a general sense of discontent. The second stage is coalescence, this is characterized as the “popular” stage. There is now a sense of why there is discontent and who is responsible for the unrest. It is no longer an individual action but a collection action and a leader emerges from the group. Also at this stage there may be demonstrations and the group is clear on their demands. The third stage is bureaucratization and in this stage there is a possibility that the social movement can fizzle out due to the demands. Often there are volunteers but too much of a workload so it’s important to have paid staff who are readily available to commit. The last stage is decline, and although it sounds negative is doesn’t necessarily mean that the social movement failed. There are many reasons why social movements decline including repression, co-optation, success, and failure.

    The case of the Egyptian revolution and police killing of Oscar Grant illustrate this idea of social movement. In the case of the Egyptian revolution people were being repressed and almost 20% of the population were living under the poverty line. The Egyptian president was squashing protests, censored the media, and detained citizens without a formal charge. There was a political and economic unrest and eventually the President resigned as there was an 18-day revolution against President Hosni Mubarak. The police killing of Oscar Grant also illustrates the idea of social movement because people are no longer staying mum. Oscar Grant was shot and killed in a subway by rail transit officers which was recorded and uploaded on YouTube. The video was used as evidence for the trial and there was widespread protest. People’s voices are now heard through social media and is evident how influential it is in our society and culture. Social media is changing the nature of social movements and revolution today because it is now easy to upload a video, picture, or text online and is available globally. Technology is shaping our world because now we can find out information instantly and keep connected through social media.

  22. Christiansen describes a social movement as an organized group that is not part of the formal institutional arrangement of society yet seeks to achieve an agenda. This involves conflict with defined opponents, the formation of networks among the members of the group, and an element of shared identity. Their goals can be broad or focused, and their reach can be local or global. Christiansen attempts to create a general framework for understanding social movements through a model that details four distinct stages that social movements progress through. The first stage, which he names “Emergence,” can be described as the period where the impetus for what will become a social movement is creating discontent among members of a society, though they have not yet begun to form networks or take action based on this discontent. Some groups may draw attention to the issue, and people may mention and discuss it with those who surround them, but not much happens beyond this. The second stage, “Coalescence,” is when the social movement begins to take off, with the sense of discontent becoming clearly defined and those responsible for it being identified. People begin to become aware of others with the same feelings, organize themselves, and develop a leadership along with a strategic and action. The third stage, “Bureaucratization,” involves the creation of a formal organization and structure for a sustained campaign, so that the movement can continue past the initial outpouring of emotion and inspiration. This involves devoted staff and leadership who cultivate constituencies and gain greater political power. The last stage, “Decline,” involves the end-game of the social movement and involves several different outcomes. Social movements can experience repression, co-optation, success, failure, or establishment within the mainstream based on a variety of factors pertaining to their organization and the society in which they operate.
    The cases of the Egyptian Revolution and the killing of Oscar Grant illustrate this idea of social movements in several ways. The Egyptian Revolution displays how feelings of discontent and the formation of certain dissident groups over a long period of time led to the coalescence of a powerful revolutionary movement that swept through the country and had an ultimately successful end game, though I believe it jumped over the “Bureaucratization” phase for the most part. It definitely was congruent with the idea of a politically oriented social movement, which Christiansen claims best fit with his model. The killing of Oscar Grant displayed the rapid evolution of discontent into networks of action, especially in the digital sphere. It definitely created the demonstrations and opposition networks that characterize a social movement. However it also presented a social movement with a far greater amount of discussion then the Egyptian Revolution over the feelings about the event and the appropriate response, indicating a less unified movement. It did not fit as well into Christiansen’s framework, seeming more like an event that prompted discussion as opposed to a sustained movement that reached the third and fourth stages of Christiansen’s process.
    It is very clear that social media is fundamentally changing the nature of social movements and revolutions today. The new methods of rapid organization and information dissemination that they allow are unprecedented. They also allow for previously unheard of global networks of awareness and support that make them extend beyond the contexts of one society. Everyone has a voice in the narratives of social movements through social media, and as the Egyptian Revolution and Oscar Grant examples show, any participant can become something of a journalist. However there are also new dangers, as both examples convey. The broad debate about the context of online videos in the Oscar Grant example and the danger of digital black outs in the Egypt example present new challenges to social movements. Such considerations serve as undeniable proof of the impact of social media.

    1. Hi Mason,
      I strongly agree with you on that there are many new dangers on using social media. Although social media is almost the quickest way to sharing information among different people, we also need to consider that how to select the most efficient and real information from all of the messages. Thank you for reminding us!

    2. I agree with you on the risk of digital blackouts as a new challenge – not to mention just the fact that Egypt was compelled to enact an internet black-out is irrefutable evidence of the power of social media – shown when a government does something so bold to try to counter that power.

  23. According to Jonathan Christiansen, social movements are organized social entities; they are goal oriented and their focus/attention is on the conflict. These goals could be as narrow as a policy and as broad as cultural change. The four stages of social movements are: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. In the emergence stage, social movements are introducing and there is no organization. During the second stage of social movement, coalescence, the participants become aware of each other and the movement is no longer random dissatisfied individuals. In this stage the movement becomes organized, strategies defined, and leadership emerged. Third stage of social movement, bureaucratization, is higher levels of organization. During this stage, social movement had experienced some success and gains more political power. The movement at this point cannot rely on only random participants or leaders; therefore, trained staffs need to perform the organization’s functions. The last stage of social movement is decline, but it does not mean that the movement necessarily failed. The five reasons that a social movement could decline are: success, organizational failure, co-option, repression, or establishment within mainstream society.
    Social media had played a great role in Egyptian revolution against President Hosni Mubarak. In Egypt’s dictatorship system, social media created a safe and confidant way for protests to communicate. Posting videos and pictures of events in Egypt on facebook and tweeter also attracted international attention to the revolution. Social media along with some other factors such as individuals, leaders, Serbian/Tunisia activists were keys for the Egyptian revolution to be successful.
    The Oscar Grant shooting in subway was captured by passengers’ cellophane cameras. Because mainstream media often time holds up the interest of those in power, “guard dog” media, innocent killing of a civilian by the police was ignored. As pictures taken by citizen-journalism uploaded on YouTube and other forms of social media, Oscar’s case attracted attention and the officer eventually resigned and arrested. The other outcome of Oscar’s case was how the public responded to citizen-journalism. The result of the study showed that some people criticized the subject matter and the quality of the videos. However, many audiences supported the subject matter by their positive comments.
    The Internet and specifically social media has a great role in mobilizing social movements worldwide. This not only gives social movements a great opportunity to connect to other social movements but also receive support from the global community. The 18-day Egyptian revolution and Oscar Grant demonstrated good examples of successful social movements that received strong support from the social media.

    1. Hello Fardad,

      Awesome job on explaining the 4 stages of social movement’s life cycle.
      Also, if we just depend on Media (news) to provide us with all the information, then we might become victims of media that at times act as guard dog, as you mentioned. I agree with you that social media has prevented us from becoming such victims.

  24. Social movements, then, can be thought of as organized yet informal social entities that are engaged in extra-institutional conflict that is oriented towards a goal. Christensen’s explanation of social movement has four stages which are emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization and decline. The first stage of the social movement life cycle is called emergence. Social movements are very preliminary and there is little to no organization at this stage. There is dissatisfaction with the social condition or the policies. However, there are no actions that are taken yet. It is usually an individual person rather than a group of people who are sharing the same thought. The second stage is called the coalescence stage which is known as the popular stage. It is characterized by a more clearly defined sense of discontent. It is no longer just a general sense of unease, but now a sense of what the unease is about and who or what is responsible. People in a community may complain to each other about a general injustice, but they do not come together to act on those complaints and the social movement does not progress to the next level. The third stage is called bureaucratization and it is also known as formalization. In this stage, social movements have had some success in that they have raised awareness to a degree that a coordinated strategy is necessary. The last stage is called decline which is also known as institutionalization. Decline does not necessarily mean failure, it can be repression, co-optation, success, and failure. Egyptian Revolution shows a great example of social movement stages. In the case of Egyptian revolution, citizens of Egypt were not happy with Hosni Mubarak’s presidency. People were discontent with the low-wages, unemployment and other factors. It all started with one word and spread around to others. It was finally decided to show the government about their discontent. The role of social media was huge because that was how a lot of got to know the protests were emerging. Social media also showed the international world what was going on there and they got support internationally as well. There was a lot of violence going on but people still kept their protests. Finally Hosni Mubarak resigned and this can be the decline stage with success of people. As for Oscar Grant, social media was what started the small social movement in California towards racial justice, which was ultimately spread across the United States. The killing of Grant was filmed by several witnesses who used social media to express outrage and demand justice. There were protests immediately – with all kinds of Americans gathering together in unity – and the officer who killed Grant resigned and was eventually arrested. In the case of Oscar Grant’s killing, it was recorded and put to social media to show to the world to view it. Then, some of the viewers demanded retaliation, which resulted in the resignation of the officer and his eventual arrest. Without the social media and the movement, who would know what had happened at the time. As far as the question, I do think that social media is changing the nature of social movement. With social media, more people are being aware of other people thinking the same as they do, forming small groups and taking some actions about it. Also, media does not always show what actually is going on especially if it is a protest against the government; that’s where the importance of social media shows as far as the social movements. People are aware of what is going on through social media both internally and globally.

    1. This statements appeals to me about social movement, and although it’s intensive to be involve in a social movement. There are negative affects, but as well as positive outcomes. In my opinion it can reform and construct the government as well as the future of the public in that nation.

  25. Fatima Khurshid
    Culture 320
    Spring semester
    01/29/2015

    Christiansen’s explains the social movement as a social change and a culture. They unite people and how they protest rallies, and get involved in educational campaign. It also draws attention of other people and attracts media as well as regime a change or in revolution. Christiansen also noticed that social movement emerge because of discontent, dissatisfy with a decision or with a current situation. Sometimes they are not fair and unhappy with a decision and they want to reform a change in a society. When these people get together in a group or protest they have similar problems that’s why they are on a same page to explain it to the media or to a politician. There are four stages of social movement. They are Emergence, Coalescence, Bureaucratization and Decline. By emergence as far as I understood I think he means that if there is a policy and an individual is not happy with it he/she can say they are not agree but they cannot take a serious action because it is not really recognized as a problem. Public are starting to know a problem and then starting to adjust it. The second stage was Coalescence in this stage Christiansen point out that the problem has been diagnosed and the community gets familiar with it, but they have no ability to take action on it. The community are also trying to look who are responsible for this policy and where will they discuss it. Afterward they make a decision to do something about which is a campaign, protest, and get together to solve the problem. After a hard struggle and the group of people face problems while campaigning they begin to have a more prominent political force. By Bureaucratization I think he means that the problem has been recognized as a central problem. It has become a popular issue and the politician and or official assistance are aware of the issue. The issue is going to be solved in a very structural and organized way. In the last stage which is decline he clarifies that social movement doesn’t mean failure.
    In the stage of decline he focused on four main components which are repression, co-optation, success, failure and establishment with Mainstream. Christiansen describes repression as how a nation is forced and the other nation is trying to substantiate attack on that nation, because they are considered dangerous to the media and to the public. Now co-optation he clarifies that it is a way of cooperation with each other and how social movement leaders come to cooperate with the authorities. When social movement spreads to a stage to be successful, so they become a portion of a political institution, so they reach to an agreement. By failure I gain this knowledge that some social movements are really similar to each other at the same time and then at the end the politicians or leaders they cannot sympathize with the people who need their rights. Christiansen notified Establishment with Mainstream as goals and ideologies which are approved by the mainstream and there is no need for the movement now.
    Today it is really easy to reach into social movement because people don’t pay to do campaigning or get together to talk about something. They used internet, social media, face book, twitter and all kind of technology to help them aware of the society around them.The Egyptian Revolution and Oscar Grant case is an example of a social movement. According to Emergence stage people in Egypt were discontent with the way Mubarak was running the country for 30 years. No one had the freedom of speech.
    In Coalescence stage Muhammad El Baradei eventually gained support as he spoke against the government. People agreed with him. In Bureaucratization (which is when a government organization helps the campaign and support volunteers) the National Association was formed in February of 2010 when politician come together and supported El Baradei. In the end the decline stage of the Egyptian Revolution were protest between January 25th and February 11, 2011. This protest leads to Mubarak resigning. This decline was considered as a success. In the Oscar Grant case, Grant was shot by a police and a witness recorded and uploaded the incident in social media which quickly spread in a matter of minutes. This happening clearly shows both emergence and coalescence. Though it’s unclear if there is a bureaucratization stage or not, the decline was a success since the police went to jail.

  26. Christiansen states that social movement is an open, collective and a sustained challenge to the prevailing ways of doing things, such as women rights movements and labor rights movements in Europe or Latin America. Social movements’ lifecycles are identified into four stages: Emergence, Coalescence, Bureaucratization, and Decline.
    Emergence is described as the “social ferment” stage and the movements are very preliminary and there is little to no organization. Those potential participants may be unsatisfied with current situations and complain about the unreasonable policies to their friends and family. Although it is more individual instead of collective and strategic, the general sense of discontent could be raised through social media. Stage two, known as coalescence, or the “popular stage,” pays more attention to the sense of discontent and has tendency to become collective and focalized rather than uncoordinated and individual. Participants are more organized and strategic in their outlook during this period of time. The third stage is known as bureaucratization, or “formalization” which is defined by Blumer as obtaining higher levels of organization and coalition-based strategies. In this stage, social movements depend on not only mass rallies or inspirational leaders, but also trained staff to carry out the functions of organizations. Since they could access important political elites frequently, their political power is stronger than the previous stages. The last stage is decline or “institutionalization” which does not mean the failure for social movements. In fact, decline usually marks the end of mass mobilization, and it can be illustrated as five ways: repression, co-optation, success, and failure, and establishment with Mainstream.

    The Egyptian revolution could be a great example for illustrating the idea of social movements. The emergence stage was citizens’ discontent under Mubarak’s regime because of terrible economic and political conditions. However, people just began to complain by themselves instead of forming the group. The coalescence stage was followed by sharing more people’s points of view, and there was a need for changing and improving on social media. No one can deny the significance of social media , such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Egyptian citizens brought thoughts and discussed them online, building a more organized and strategic group. The third stage of bureaucratization started from the lead of Mohamed ElBaradei because he was among the first to oppose the government and called for democratic reform and social justice. It is obvious that the decline was turned out to be a success since the country was free finally and citizens enjoyed more rights afterwards. Furthermore, the case of the police killing of Oscar Grant was recorded by passengers on their cellphones and later uploaded to the video-sharing website YouTube. It showed that the huge influence of social media triggering a debate among the online and offline communities from all over the world.

    Personally, I strongly believe that social media are changing the nature of social movements and revolution today. Although the outcomes of movements will not be predictable, the efficiency and spread of social media could never be ignored. More importantly, the development of Internet is essential during the process because it can build up a powerful relationship intangibly between different groups even nations by sharing information or ideas.

    1. Candy, I really enjoyed reading this and had very similar viewpoints too. I think you did a really great job of explaining the four stages of a social movement, your writing was strong and clear. I also enjoyed how you explained the Egyptian revolution using the four stages. I thought it was interesting that you used ElBaradei for the bureaucratization stages, I listed him as well. Also, I appreciate getting your view on social media and how you feel it changes the world. I think that China has a different way of dealing with it then the U.S. and that gives you a different and interesting insight on the topic.

  27. In Christiansen’s article, he explains four different stages that make up a social movement. As we all know already, a social movement is a type of action in which people come together to form a social change they all agree upon.A social movement however, means involvement of conflict with a current order or law in which these allies of people are trying to win to make this social change possible. According to Christiansen, there are four stages in which a social movement is formed. The first stage is Emergence, so basically in this stage, a lack of contentment in a certain matter or issue in the society is being somewhat recognized but no collective action has taken place. In this stage, we see more of an individual action rather than a collective one. The next stage is Coalescence.This is where a collective action takes place as in this stage of social movement, and the issue that was arising is now taken seriously and known by the public who are now coming up with strategies to achieve the social change. Bureaucratization is the third stage of the social movement and here we are looking at a higher level of organization (movements from the second stage pretty much grew).This means the movement has been bureaucratized and has been taken up to a formal level in which dedicated people who started the movement become staff and people are paid to be achieve their goal. Fundraising would take place in this stage. Decline is the last stage of a social movement. Decline does not mean failure; there are a few factors in which this final stage can result in. Repression (the movement is repressed by authorities), Co-optation (leaders in the movement become linked to authorities and will possibly change the direction of the movement) Success (decline; as soon as the movement has achieved its goal) and of course Failure (common reasons for failure are to organizational or strategic failings).
    Both the Egyptian Revolution and the police killing of Oscar Grant exemplify a social movement. In the case of Oscar grant, an unarmed black man who was shot by a police was video recorded by a witness. The recording of the shooting is the emergence stage. It did not take long for the coalescence stage to occur as the witness who recorded the incident uploaded the video on a type of social media which immediately spread out through the internet making everyone aware of the situation.I don’t really see bureaticratization in Grant’s case but there were however riots because the cop was not going to go to trial,so the rioters ended up making sure he saw his day in court.The cop was sentenced a minimal amount because the judge found that he had no intentions of shooting Grant.The cop thought it was his taser he used.The sentencing of the cop is the decline in Grant’s case. In the Egyptian Revolution, the people’s unhappiness with the lack of free speech and so many of them living below the poverty line for 30 years when Mubarak ruled is the display of emergence.Because of the civil unrest in Egypt and government corruption,people started to talk. Mohamed Elbaradai gained strong support in speaking out against the government and the talk about the need for change continued.This would be the coalescence stage.The Bereaucratization stage took place in February 2010 when a group of about thirty politicians,intellectuals, and activists formed the National Association for Change (an opposition coalition that supported the democratic call Elbaradai had initiated).Finally, the decline in the Egyptian Revolution took place when protests lead to the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak between January 25 and February 11,2011.I think that social media is changing the nature of social movements and revolution today. I think the posting of videos, shout outs on Twitter and Facebook etc. is an effective way to get people to hear and listen to what others have to say about a certain matter going on in the society. Social media is a perfect way to get other people’s attention. I also noticed that the speed of sending out awareness on social media merged emergence and coalescence into one stage as displayed by the Oscar Grant case which I think is pretty important because it’s a faster way to get closer to achieving a goal to change society.

  28. Karrie, I liked your idea that the speed of communication of social media merged the stages of emergence and coalescence into one- it’s an interesting angle and makes me wonder if the stages should be re-considered in the new era of social media.

  29. Cultural and Ethnic Studies
    Christiansen explains social movement as an intermediary of organized entities to informal gathering geared at advocating a unique right. Christiansen points out that social movement have aspects that are common, which include unity of purpose, common cause of disharmony and similar agendas. By virtue of the similarities and commonality in opinion and agenda, social movements, more often than not, appear as informal and organized entities.
    Christiansen further argues that social movements develop in four distinct stages. They include emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. The emergence stage involves common disharmony without collective action. Individual people are affected with the on-going social injustice or policy, but there is minimal collective complains. The companies are limited to individuals and official letters addressing the contentious issues. The coalescence stage involve as a shift from individual discontent to identification of the problem and the actors.
    Coalescence is commonly dubbed the popular stage where the individual become aware of each other and the common misery or cause of discontent. The individuals collate and form a group that identifies the origin and perpetuator of the injustice. The bureaucratization stage involves increased mass awareness of the problem affecting the individuals. It also involves high organization levels with individuals responsible for coordination of daily activities. This stage marks the beginning of reactions from the masses that belief in the course for the social movement.
    The social injustice or course of discontent acquires justification based on reason purported through the social movements. The people are in full comprehension of the effects and possible social distortion caused by the discontent. The decline stage can involve repression, co-optation, failure, or success. The final stage dictates the course and ultimate maturity of the social movement.
    The Egyptian followed Christiansen stages in its development. Initially, the people were oppressed with social injustice, oppression, low wage bills, increased inflation, and police brutality. However, the people did not initially come out in masses to protest against the activities. As time progressed, people began gathering and identifying contentious issues that affect them. There were several platforms sued to spread the discontent among people. Social media played a key role in sensitizing the people against the injustice.
    There was the Tunisian president a factor where social movement had bore fruit. The success prompted the social movements to engage in their quest for change. Social media progressed the social movement in Egypt to the point of mass action. The decline was followed by the consequential removal of Hosni Mubarak from the presidential seat. The acquisition of freedom of speech, justice, tolerance to religion was aspects of success of the social movement.
    Oscar Grant killing was captured in cameras and cell phones and uploaded in social media. The protest that erupted was spontaneous and based on the innocent killing of a civilian. If the shooting had not achieved attention through social media, the protest and social movement would not have acquired vigor.
    In conclusion, social media has become a platform for interaction that overrides traditional forms of socialization. The concept of global village becomes perfected with the adoption and appreciation of social media.
    Similarly, global awareness on human rights and convention advocating for the same are made public through social media. Therefore, not only are people informed of their rights, but also they have a platform to share their discontent. It suffices to observe that social media form the strongest channel of communicating discontent and giving power to social movements.

Leave a Reply