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Avoid the Hustle

Sociology

Category: Sociology

DIRECTIONS:
Select three (3) of the insurgencies addressed by Castells book; compare and contrast them in terms of their major characteristics, and especially in terms of their use of the internet and social media.

The insurgencies are the events that occurred in the book and they are listed under the notes from class I will upload. The insurgencies you can choose from (in which you need to pick 3) are listed under Readings with the subheading INSURGENCIES…which is at the bottom of the page. Any 3 can be chosen. The information listed directly above INSURGENCIES is Castell’s opening and brief discussion of the book- this is not what the paper is about…the paper is about 3 insurgencies. Castle’s book is the only source needed for this assignment and the essay must reflect information ONLY from this book.
POL 335
Networks of Outrage and Hope
Notes from Castells, “Opening”
Networked social movements  internet age, social media era of networking and forming social movements
Where they appeared, how they spread
His grounded theory of power
– Castells says power is what structures institutions & societies and ultimately determines charades of society
– Power is diffused…not necessarily only concentrated at the top, however that is where power is usually held
– Emphasizes the counter power…people subordinate/oppressed to power change and….interdependent power (institutionally powerless) but essentially are powerful because of there ability to disturb society and force change
Power is exercised by coercion and by constructed meanings in people’s minds
– Coercion or threat of coercion….ultimately crucial
– We have an idea of where we stand in society….this is internalized…this is important in determining social stability

The first is ultimately crucial, although the second, embodied in institutions, is more important in determining stability
The process of construction meaning takes place through means of communication which are ordinarily dominated by elites
– The people who have the power are not the ones involved in social movements/protests
– In order to establish cultural hegemony …people in power have to be in control of the system of communication…they have access to information that is already operated by elites…they somewhat control information and communication
– If means of communication is controlled by the elites (which is usually information supporting the continued power of the elite)…then the chances of people breaking out of their subordination is less….if there is little information to change norms then the likelihood of change is slim
Digital communications has undermined elite control, and open space for the production of insurgent meanings
– Its harder for the elite to remain in control/power because of the mass information available by social media and technology
– There is much more free access to information
– Quick mass diffusion of information
– Only way for them to keep control is vigilant behavior or censorship

Out of these new conditions, networked movements have arisen very rapidly
– The continued evolution of technology and new forms of quick communication
– Shows society information elites would usually keep hidden

However, for networked movements to mount a real challenge to power, they need to occupy not only digital communications space, but real physical public space, and…
– Internet is a digital space that is important and digital networks
– Real space mounts real challenge…real act of mass collective disobedience…defying the regime
– Occupy public space you get face to face communication and better opportunities to build communities
– Physical space makes movements tangible
– Internet information contains information that is capable of disrupting society
They need not only build digital networks, but also incorporate traditional networks based on family, neighborhoods, organizations, class, ethnicity, and gender
Social movements initially erupt on the basis of emotional reactions, and the digital means are able to precipitate such reactions very rapidly over a large area
– Anger is crucial …emotions are necessary
– Rapid spread of outrage is possible because of internet
Togetherness to overcome fear
Quick overview:

Networks of movements  social movements in the internet age

Arab uprising, 2011, they spread through the use of rapid information sharing amongst ordinary people, starts in Tunisia and then Iceland then spread to Arab world especially Egypt …generally discusses Arab spring and then goes on to Spain and talks about Occupy Wall Street and relates these movements together and there common characteristics of networks of social movements
Occupy Wall Street

Police repression & evictions were violent
Active and passionate activists protesting the 1% and economic inequalities
Facebook, Twitter and other Internet resources
This movement is not interested in having a set list of demands- this is a very broad movement that encourages open communication and ideas from everyone
Occupy both physical and digital space
Anarchist outlook…somewhat utopian
Most-modern form of social movement- the Internet age plays new roles and influences on social movements

Causes:
2008 financial crises, bank foreclosures, bailouts, real estate market plummeting, corporate corruption and greed, economic inequality, Obamists – Obama supporters

PG 165- should this movement really be called Occupy Wall Street only? This map shows economic problems all over the country, not just a New York and Wall Street

Demands:
Campaign finance reform, economic equality, regulation of the financial sector

How do they organize themselves?
General assembly (met monthly)- they ruled by consensus – full participation and viewpoints of each individual in the process of achieving leadership democracy

Didn’t trust representative democracy, leadership hierarchy, leaders who held office for a long time, leadership in general

This is a people movement
How don’t they organize themselves?
Do not want any specific leaders, hierarchies, or officials making decisions, no set list of specific goals or demands- they believe all demands are equal and considered this a new way to advance social movements

Readings:
Movements in the Internet Age I
– Opening (PG. 1-19)
– Prelude to Revolution (PG. 20-52)

INSURGENCIES
Movements in the Internet Age II
– The Egyptian Revolution (53-92)
– Dignity, Violence Geopolitics: The Arab Uprisings (93-109)

Movements in the Internet Age III
– A Rhizomatic Revolution: Indignadas in Spain (110-155)
– The Arab Awakening – The end of a dictator (Egypt) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzNzOiao418

Occupy Wall Street
– Occupy Wall Street (156-217),
– Changing the World in the Network Society (218-243),
– Beyond Outrage, Hope (244-246)
– Occupy Wall Street Documentary 2012 https://archive.org/details/OccupyWallStreetDocumentary-2012