Social Action And New Media: On Becoming a Smart Mob

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Information about Social Action And New Media: On Becoming a Smart Mob

Published on May 28, 2007

Author: rsmyth

Source: slideshare.net

Description

workshop given at social justice conference (March 2003) about using new technologies for organizing social change

Social Action and New Media: On Becoming a Smart Mob Richard Smyth UU Church of Haverhill Social Action Youth Conference Workshop 3 March 2007

Outline What Inspired This Presentation A Short History of Technology Doing Democracy the four roles of social activism the eight stages of social movements

What Inspired This Presentation

A Short History of Technology

Doing Democracy

the four roles of social activism

the eight stages of social movements

Goals To find ways to help you use digital literacies as citizenship skills Recognize technology as a prosthesis augmenting human mental and social capabilities To learn effective and ineffective roles that social activists can play in social movements To learn the eight stages of social movements

To find ways to help you use digital literacies as citizenship skills

Recognize technology as a prosthesis augmenting human mental and social capabilities

To learn effective and ineffective roles that social activists can play in social movements

To learn the eight stages of social movements

I. Inspiration --Howard Rheingold. “The Pedagogy of Civic Participation.” Lecture delivered in Second Life ( www.secondlife.com )

Inspiration my avatar, Abaris Brautigan , listening to the Howard Rheingold lecture in Second Life The full presentation is available here: http:// www.nmc.org/campus/Rheingold_Presentation

Inspiration “ Learning to use participatory media to learn and speak and organize about issues might well be the most important citizenship skill that digital natives need to learn if they are going to maintain or revive democratic governance.”

“ Learning to use participatory media to learn and speak and organize about issues might well be the most important citizenship skill that digital natives need to learn if they are going to maintain or revive democratic governance.”

Inspiration “ I think we have an opportunity today to make use of the natural enthusiasm of today’s young digital natives (for cultural production as well as consumption) to help them learn to use the media production and distribution technologies now available to them as a way to develop a public voice about issues they care about.”

“ I think we have an opportunity today to make use of the natural enthusiasm of today’s young digital natives (for cultural production as well as consumption) to help them learn to use the media production and distribution technologies now available to them as a way to develop a public voice about issues they care about.”

Inspiration “ This population is both self-guided and in need of guidance. Although a willingness to learn new media by point & click exploration might come naturally to today’s student cohort, there’s nothing innate about knowing how to apply their skills to the processes of democracy.”

“ This population is both self-guided and in need of guidance. Although a willingness to learn new media by point & click exploration might come naturally to today’s student cohort, there’s nothing innate about knowing how to apply their skills to the processes of democracy.”

Inspiration “ Education that recognizes the full impact of networked publics and digital media must adopt a whole new way of looking at learning and teaching, not just add another set of skills to the curriculum. I’m not at all sure how to get there, I don’t pretend to be an expert on that, I don’t know exactly how to evaluate efforts to create such a curriculum and measure their impacts, or whether schooling as we know it is even the place to start building the necessary institutions.”

“ Education that recognizes the full impact of networked publics and digital media must adopt a whole new way of looking at learning and teaching, not just add another set of skills to the curriculum. I’m not at all sure how to get there, I don’t pretend to be an expert on that, I don’t know exactly how to evaluate efforts to create such a curriculum and measure their impacts, or whether schooling as we know it is even the place to start building the necessary institutions.”

Small Group Discussion Answer the following questions in small groups of 3-4: What new technologies do you use? myspace.com or facebook.com youtube.com or livevideo.com secondlife.com or there.com del.icio.us or digg.com rss feeds and blogs/vlogs? others not mentioned here? How do you use these technologies?

Answer the following questions in small groups of 3-4:

What new technologies do you use?

myspace.com or facebook.com

youtube.com or livevideo.com

secondlife.com or there.com

del.icio.us or digg.com

rss feeds and blogs/vlogs?

others not mentioned here?

How do you use these technologies?

Networked Participation: Wisdom of Crowds or Stupidity of Masses? Presentation at Emerson College on 2/28/07. Quotes on the following three slides from http://ideant.typepad.com/shows/fp4.html

Publics vs. Masses The first defining characteristic of a public sphere is a balance between the ability to produce and consume ideas. According to Mills, in a public, "as many people express opinions as receive them." In a mass, "far fewer people express opinions than receive them; for the community of publics becomes an abstract collection of individuals who receive impressions from the mass media" (Mills, 1956, pp. 303-304; my emphasis).

The first defining characteristic of a public sphere is a balance between the ability to produce and consume ideas. According to Mills, in a public, "as many people express opinions as receive them."

In a mass, "far fewer people express opinions than receive them; for the community of publics becomes an abstract collection of individuals who receive impressions from the mass media" (Mills, 1956, pp. 303-304; my emphasis).

Publics vs. Masses Advocates of the power of sociable web media argue that these media give more people the opportunity to become producers of information, not mere consumers, thus leveling the balance between those who produce and consume opinions. Take for instance WikiNews , a wiki where anyone can contribute to the production of news. No longer is the production and dissemination of information about what's happening in the world the exclusive domain of big media.

Advocates of the power of sociable web media argue that these media give more people the opportunity to become producers of information, not mere consumers, thus leveling the balance between those who produce and consume opinions.

Take for instance WikiNews , a wiki where anyone can contribute to the production of news. No longer is the production and dissemination of information about what's happening in the world the exclusive domain of big media.

Publics vs. Masses But how many people are involved in WikiNews as compared to the number of people writing about their favorite celebrities or products?… The new power to produce will be co-opted by the old desire to consume. Consider the concept of 'contests' in YouTube. Basically, companies offer money for user-produced contribu-tions that are advertisements for their products.

But how many people are involved in WikiNews as compared to the number of people writing about their favorite celebrities or products?…

The new power to produce will be co-opted by the old desire to consume. Consider the concept of 'contests' in YouTube. Basically, companies offer money for user-produced contribu-tions that are advertisements for their products.

Critiques of Participatory Culture “ We need to develop the will power to turn off the computer” --Trebor Scholz “ We end up surrending agency to technology instead of delegating it” --Ulises A. Mejias Presentation at Emerson College on 2/28/07. http://institute.emerson.edu/floatingpoints/2007/

“ We need to develop the will power to turn off the computer”

--Trebor Scholz

“ We end up surrending agency to technology instead of delegating it”

--Ulises A. Mejias

Presentation at Emerson College on 2/28/07.

http://institute.emerson.edu/floatingpoints/2007/

II. A Short History of Technology

Inventions  lpha  etic Literacy 1100 B.C.E. Printing Press 1447 C.E. 1901 1927 1984 The Index circa 1600 analog technologies digital technologies 1990s

Three Eras of Communications Orality f2f communication (storytellers) memories/history stored in stories Literacy (alphabetic and print) memory stored in books, libraries Electracy (“secondary orality”) memory stored electronically/digitally “ Pixels are the movable type of the future” (Stafford 288).

Orality

f2f communication (storytellers)

memories/history stored in stories

Literacy (alphabetic and print)

memory stored in books, libraries

Electracy (“secondary orality”)

memory stored electronically/digitally

“ Pixels are the movable type of the future” (Stafford 288).

Technology as Prosthesis Think of communications technologies as augmenting functions of the human mindbrain: memory reason emotion social networking

Think of communications technologies as augmenting functions of the human mindbrain:

memory

reason

emotion

social networking

Technology as Amplification “ The knowledge and technologies that triggered the jump from clan to tribe to nation to market to network all shared one characteristic: They each amplified the way individual humans think and communicate, and magnified their ability to share what they know.” (Rheingold, Smart Mobs 181)

“ The knowledge and technologies that triggered the jump from clan to tribe to nation to market to network all shared one characteristic: They each amplified the way individual humans think and communicate, and magnified their ability to share what they know.”

(Rheingold, Smart Mobs 181)

Smart Mobs: Nonviolent Political Swarming November 30, 1999 demonstrators protesting WTO meeting used “swarming” tactics, mobile phones, websites, laptops to win “Battle of Seattle” January 20, 2001 President Estrada of Philippines loses power to a smart mob Tens of thousands gathered within an hour of first text message volleys (Rheingold, Smart Mobs 157-58). www.smartmobs.com for many more examples

November 30, 1999

demonstrators protesting WTO meeting used “swarming” tactics, mobile phones, websites, laptops to win “Battle of Seattle”

January 20, 2001

President Estrada of Philippines loses power to a smart mob

Tens of thousands gathered within an hour of first text message volleys (Rheingold, Smart Mobs 157-58).

www.smartmobs.com for many more examples

Activity Write about an issue or issues that you care about. (10 mins) Share your thoughts in small groups (10-15 mins) Large group discussion (10-15 mins)

Write about an issue or issues that you care about.

(10 mins)

Share your thoughts in small groups (10-15 mins)

Large group discussion

(10-15 mins)

III. Doing Democracy with Technology

Wired and Activated? Now what? Four Roles of Social Activism Citizen Rebel Reformer Change Agent (Moyer 28-29)

Four Roles of Social Activism

Citizen

Rebel

Reformer

Change Agent

(Moyer 28-29)

Four Roles: Citizen Effective promotes positive American values, principles, and symbols normal citizen grounded in center of society Ineffective naïve citizen: believes “official policies” super-patriot: automatic obedience to powerholders

Effective

promotes positive American values, principles, and symbols

normal citizen

grounded in center of society

Ineffective

naïve citizen: believes “official policies”

super-patriot: automatic obedience to powerholders

Four Roles: Rebel Effective nonviolent direct action and attitude actions have strategy and tactics empowered, exciting, courageous Ineffective authoritarian anti-authoritarian anti-American, anti-authority strident, arrogant, egocentric: self-needs before movement needs

Effective

nonviolent direct action and attitude

actions have strategy and tactics

empowered, exciting, courageous

Ineffective

authoritarian anti-authoritarian

anti-American, anti-authority

strident, arrogant, egocentric: self-needs before movement needs

Four Roles: Reformer Effective uses official mainstream system and institutions uses variety of means (lobbying, lawsuits, rallies, candidates) watchdogs successes Ineffective patriarchal model of organizational structure organizational maintenance over movement needs

Effective

uses official mainstream system and institutions

uses variety of means (lobbying, lawsuits, rallies, candidates)

watchdogs successes

Ineffective

patriarchal model of organizational structure

organizational maintenance over movement needs

Four Roles: Change Agent Effective educates/involves majority of citizens and whole society on issue promotes strategies and tactics for waging long-term social movement creates/supports grassroots activism and orgs for long-term Ineffective too utopian: visions of perfectionist alternatives isolated from practical action tunnel-vision: advocates single issue ignores personal issues and needs of activists

Effective

educates/involves majority of citizens and whole society on issue

promotes strategies and tactics for waging long-term social movement

creates/supports grassroots activism and orgs for long-term

Ineffective

too utopian: visions of perfectionist alternatives isolated from practical action

tunnel-vision: advocates single issue

ignores personal issues and needs of activists

Eight Stages of Social Movements Normal Times critical social problem exists that violates widely held values public unaware of problem and supports powerholders Prove Failure of Official Institutions use official channels (courts, government offices, hearings) to prove they don’t work become experts; do research

Normal Times

critical social problem exists that violates widely held values

public unaware of problem and supports powerholders

Prove Failure of Official Institutions

use official channels (courts, government offices, hearings) to prove they don’t work

become experts; do research

Eight Stages of Social Movements Ripening Conditions recognition of problem/victim grows more active local groups 20-30% of public opposes powerholder policies Take Off trigger event dramatic nonviolent actions/campaigns problem put on social agenda 40 % of public opposes current policies

Ripening Conditions

recognition of problem/victim grows

more active local groups

20-30% of public opposes powerholder policies

Take Off

trigger event

dramatic nonviolent actions/campaigns

problem put on social agenda

40 % of public opposes current policies

Eight Stages of Social Movements Perception of Failure see goals unachieved see powerholders unchanged despair, hopelessness, burnout emergence of negative rebel Majority Public Opinion majority oppose present conditions re-trigger events happen/re-enact stage 4 involve mainstream citizens/institutions

Perception of Failure

see goals unachieved

see powerholders unchanged

despair, hopelessness, burnout

emergence of negative rebel

Majority Public Opinion

majority oppose present conditions

re-trigger events happen/re-enact stage 4

involve mainstream citizens/institutions

Eight Stages of Social Movements Success large majority oppose current policies powerholders make only minimal reforms while movement demands social change new laws and policies Continuing the Struggle extend successes (e.g. even stronger civil rights laws) oppose attempts at backlash recognize/celebrate successes so far

Success

large majority oppose current policies

powerholders make only minimal reforms while movement demands social change

new laws and policies

Continuing the Struggle

extend successes (e.g. even stronger civil rights laws)

oppose attempts at backlash

recognize/celebrate successes so far

The Two Percent Rule “ There’s a myth in this country, and it separates us from our strength. The myth is: to win, you have to have the majority actively with you. The winner is the one who gets more than fifty percent of the vote…” (Prokosch 261)

“ There’s a myth in this country, and it separates us from our strength. The myth is: to win, you have to have the majority actively with you. The winner is the one who gets more than fifty percent of the vote…”

(Prokosch 261)

The Two Percent Rule “ This is not how social change happens. During the 1960s, most Americans never sat in at lunch counters or marched against the Vietnam War. But the civil rights and antiwar movements abolished legal segregation and stopped U.S. military intervention overseas for fifteen years...

“ This is not how social change happens. During the 1960s, most Americans never sat in at lunch counters or marched against the Vietnam War. But the civil rights and antiwar movements abolished legal segregation and stopped U.S. military intervention overseas for fifteen years...

The Two Percent Rule “ Social scientists say that successful movements tend to have about two percent of the population active and a majority passive supporters. “ Who are the two percent? Determined people like you…” (Prokosch 264)

“ Social scientists say that successful movements tend to have about two percent of the population active and a majority passive supporters.

“ Who are the two percent? Determined people like you…”

(Prokosch 264)

Resources Prokosch, Mike. “Building a New Group.” The Global Activist’s Manual: Local Ways to Change the World. Eds. Mike Prokosch and Laura Raymond. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002. 255-264. Rheingold, Howard. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution . Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002. Rheingold, Howard. “The Pedagogy of Civic Participation.” Lecture 21 October 2006. Second Life New Media Campus 5. Available < http://media.nmc.org/sl/audio/rheingold-oct-21-2006.mp3 >.

Prokosch, Mike. “Building a New Group.” The Global Activist’s Manual: Local Ways to Change the World. Eds. Mike Prokosch and Laura Raymond. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002. 255-264.

Rheingold, Howard. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution . Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002.

Rheingold, Howard. “The Pedagogy of Civic Participation.” Lecture 21 October 2006. Second Life New Media Campus 5. Available < http://media.nmc.org/sl/audio/rheingold-oct-21-2006.mp3 >.

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