Posted by: jessica | November 27, 2011

Social Media and Social Change Movements

In the article that debunks the myths of social media, it is suggested that social media cannot be the direct conduit for social uprisings due to the fact that Internet access is limited and restricted in many parts of the world.  However, in my research for our final paper, I came across an article entitled “Using Social Media to Empower Women: A Case Study from Southern Africa” by Danny Glenwright.  The paper is available on a social change website called Genderlinks where they work to educate women in rural African communities about issues and policies that directly affect and matter to them.

In the paper, it is stated that in 2010 there were more than 400 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa and of those with Internet access, 15% were Facebook users and Twitter and YouTube stood out as some of the most visited websites.  The paper draws the conclusion that social media is widely responsible for empowering women across Africa and that it can be an extremely successful tool for organizations seeking to educate, inspire, and motive individuals in rural communities of third-world nations.  

After reading this, I am inclined to think that we are only beginning to understand the impacts of social media on social change movements.  Social media may very well evolve in new and unforeseen ways that will fundamentally shift our current paradigm of social change, allowing for more effective campaigns in global communication, empowerment, and education.

Discussion Questions:  

How do you see social media changing in the future?

In what ways has social media empowered your organization to more effectively spread your message?

Using Social Media to Empower Women: a case study from Southern Africa. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2011, from


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