Causes Of Diffusion In Social Media

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Diffusion is a large component of social network theory. According to Everett Rogers, a communication scholar, it is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels, over time among the members of a social system. Innovation has been the center of diffusion studies for many years. Recent research has started to focus on the field of social movements, to understand why information spreads a certain way, at different speeds and through different channels. Social movements are not self-contained and do not occur in isolated events but are rather built upon previous events or movements and influence each other through their effects on the larger environment (Meyer & Whittier, 1994). An example of this could be seen by…show more content…
Social media serves as an alternative method of information diffusion (Andrews & Biggs, 2006). Social networks are what drives diffusion and social media enables that diffusion to spread faster over larger areas. An analysis of the diffusion of sit in 's in the 1960 's by Andrews and Biggs (2006) reached a conclusion that “the main channel of diffusion was the media” (Andrews & Biggs, 2006). The movement was able to gain momentum because African Americans watched sit ins happening in other parts of the country and were inspired to participate. They usually learned of such reports from the news or radio (Andrews, 2006). These studies have implications today since social movements are happening all around the world from USA to Egypt, to Ukraine. Television and social media are constantly showing new boycotts, riots and protests. Movements come in waves, meaning there are moments where there is more social turmoil and times when there is more peace. In recent history this can be seen in the 1960 's with the peace movement that spread through the world, the 1980 's pro-democracy movements (Oliver & Myers, 1998) and even today 's wave of anti-capitalism movements, set out to take down unjust and corrupt world leaders. Meyer and Whittier (1994) analyzed “movement spillover”, where one movement indirectly influences a different social movement. The 1960 's peace movement was indirectly affected by the women 's movement happening during the same time period. The research states that during a period of widespread upheaval, highly mobilized challenges feed off each other and can cross over to other movements thus blurring the lines between the two (Meyer & Whittier, 1994). This is applicable to protests happening in the same country or states, it is less probable when movements are happening over thousands of miles and across oceans, as they

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