Summary Of Malcolm Gladwell Small Change

474 Words2 Pages

In Malcolm Gladwell’s essay, “Small Change,” he explores the role of social networking in the modern world and its power in influencing social change. Ultimately, Gladwell suggests that for social change to be successful it requires hierarchical organization and strong ties. Social media is a perfect means of building networks and increasing participation in those who have no personal ties with a particular cause. Although, the lack of strong personal ties is what causes the lack of motivation for people to get involved, and these networks are only effective at lessening the motivation that participation requires. Gladwell shows that though social media is ideal for stirring up a group for the right kind of cause, the networks it creates cannot …show more content…

The sit-ins were only possible because of the strong ties between the original four students who started them and between the other 70,000 students and the civil rights movement. Through this idea of having strong personal ties with other participants or a societal issue, it is evident why high-risk activism may be a result as it is not for the “faint of heart” (Gladwell 233). Gladwell examines another instance of social change in the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery bus boycott. This social activism was pivotal and effective because of the whole network behind it that was “interested in systemic change” (Gladwell 237). These sorts of strategic activism are only possible and effective through the discipline and precision established by a hierarchical structure with a centralized au¬¬¬¬thority. High-risk strategies such as these “leave little room for conflict and error,” (Gladwell 237) which social networks are chronically prone to in that people are very loosely bound to them and there is a lack of organized central authority. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter probably would have made King’s task in Birmingham a lot easier in terms of communication, though they are unlikely to have made any impact on its

Open Document