2014 Taiwan Academy for Information Society

Annual topic: 「 New Media and Citizen Movement」

Time: November 15, 2014 (Sat)

Location:  National Chiao Tung University of Hakka Studies

Speaker:Professor Carolyn A. Lin (University of Connecticut)

Topic:Social Movements in the Digital Information Age: Have Facebook, Will Tweet


  Successful social movements that we commemorate and study in the classrooms are few and far between. These pivotal social actions in history have created monumental changes in human societies. Memorable events – such as the revocation of apartheid, women’s suffrage, collective bargaining of labor unions or political democratization – have had enduring impacts on socio-cultural, economic and political structures around the world.

  Mass media are known for their ability to shape public opinion on the need or urgency for embracing a social movement by helping to frame its cultural narrative, ascribe its social salience and serve as its promotional tool. In point of fact, mass media played a significant role in the birth of the civil rights movement in the U.S. – amidst a confluence of racial discrimination in the South, the Vietnam War and other counter-culture forces in the 1960s – that challenged the moral foundation of the nation. As the mass media faithfully captured and framed this perfect storm of impending social change, they also captivated the nation’s attention and helped inspire her to institutionalize the fundamental value of equal rights for all.

  Research on the media’s role in social movements in the digital information age shows both the pros and cons of the diversified media environment in place today. Specifically, preliminary findings on the functions of social media in recent social actions, such as the Arab Spring, appear to be inconsistent. In general, while some studies have found that social media are efficient in organizing collective actions, networking like-minded people and disseminating information, others have reported their lack of direct influence on the success of the social movement itself.

  Against this backdrop, we will explore the multifaceted factors associated with launching, promoting and mobilizing a social movement in the digital information age. In particular, we will examine the root causes behind a social movement that enable the movement to position itself for success in the social media and the larger media universe. This will be complemented by a review of the strengths and weaknesses of social media platforms as a tool for driving social movements. We will also discuss how best to utilize the free wheeling social media and balance their use with other media venues to maximize the potential success of a social movement via an integrated social marketing communication strategy.

  If you are interest in our topic please complete the online registration of the conference,We will provide lunch to participants .Welcome you to join us!