TEL-T 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Sept, Change.Org, Arab Spring

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18 Nov 2014
Can social media initiate revolutions? 11/18/2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
TOPIC: Can social media initiate revolutions?
Paper #1 due Septemeber 17th: create an online petition about an issue of your
choice using or some other petition website (petition must be
initiated by sept. 10) Write a 2-3 page paper detailing your experience and
referencing concepts from class on social change (.doc, .docx, .pdf files only)
The case of the Arab Spring
>It begins in Tunisia (the revolt) {how facebook changed the world: the Arab Spring – documentary}
Why do revolutions occur?
>People react against…
Restrictions preventing basic needs from being met (low threshold)
Perceived inequalities (biggest predictor of unhappiness)
Restrictions of liberty/freedom
Perceived injustice (we won’t fall victim to something we don’t deserve – human thought process)
>the importance of the “social” in social movements
Spiral of silence – we as individuals prefer to be a part of the majority, we manage our ideas, actions, etc. to
make it seems as of we are part of the majority (to know what the right answer is but not express it as to not
appear as an outlier)
Person has to believe they are not alone in thinking this
Need for collective actions to overcome barriers
If the streets are filled with people, there is less individual risk
Perceptions of the “critical mass”
What is the role of technology here?
>Spread of information
A note on the Protestant Reformation (motivation of protestors to get information around)
Importance of exemplars (fruit seller in Arab Spring movie, picture of monk setting self on fire) this is an
Why the networked Internet is so valuable
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