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Social Media and Social Movements: Strengths, Challenges, and Implications for the Future

Social Media and Social Movements: Strengths, Challenges, and Implications for the Future
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Author(s): Sheldondra J. Brown (Southeast Missouri State University, USA), Grace M. Babcock (North Carolina State University, USA) and Monica Bixby Radu (Southeast Missouri State University, USA)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 10
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fifth Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3479-3.ch075

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Abstract

Because of the increasing importance of the link between social media and social movements, recent research attempts to bridge the gap between media studies and sociological research on social movements. Yet, questions remain unanswered. For example, does social media help facilitate activism that leads to social change? What are the strengths and limitations of social media in creating and maintaining a social movement? This chapter explores these questions and others, paying attention to the #Blacklivesmatter hashtag and social movement, which scholars argue is a power force demanding social change in America. This chapter introduces the concepts of social media and social movements and reviews recent literature examining how social media plays an active role in creating and encouraging social movements. This chapter also considers how sociological theory can provide a better understanding of what social media means for modern social change and concludes with suggestions for future research.

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