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Analysis Of “Small Change” English 1301

1371 words - 6 pages

Gladwell has been writing for The New Yorker since 1996. He has written 5 books and are all best sellers. Malcolm Gladwell's article, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted,” is an effective argument that demonstrates why social media is not an adequately effective tool in forming social or political activism. Published by The New Yorker on October 4, 2010, the article was intended to convince the general people that social media is not as dangerous as many tend to believe. Social media's popularity was increasing tremendously and knowing politics were tense at the time, so the experienced author had a wide audience of hungry readers. As social media becomes a force or even a lifeline in our society today, one has to be cautious of where suitability outdoes productivity. In Malcolm Gladwell’s article, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted,” Gladwell makes an argument that encounters the value of social media and its ability to take over the art of activism.

Gladwell’s argument is that social media can only create weak-ties that support limited obligation and low-risk activism, while strong ties require a major change to occur. Some of the examples he pulls from history to support this are the Greensboro sit-ins, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Red Brigades, and the opposition movement in East Germany. These historical examples not only support his thesis with reasons, but they draw on the powerful patriotism surrounding events such as the Civil Rights Movement. When Gladwell writes that “thirty-seven black churches were set on fire and dozens of safe houses were bombed”, and “a quarter of those in the program dropped out”, it is clear that he did his research on the Mississippi Freedom Summer. “Activism that challenges the status quo–that attacks deeply rooted problems–is not for the faint of heart.” Gladwell highlights the relevance and connects it to the argument by specifying its effectiveness that was rooted in strong bonds which includes a scenario about Iran. He states, "the people tweeting about the demonstrations [in Iran] were almost all in the West". Gladwell attempted to educate the audience by revealing information that people had once overlooked.  Gladwell concludes that no change occurred out of tweeting from thousands of miles away because of the weak effect it has on the real struggle for change for those in Iraq. 
In Gladwell’s article, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted,” he argues that effective activism and real change can’t be accomplished efficiently through the means of social media.  Gladwell builds his argument by comparing the past and current activism among groups and how it’s organized. He begins introducing his argument by narrating the Greensboro counter sit–ins, an example of real activism, and he continues to reference back to it throughout the essay. He makes his argument: “These events in the early sixties became a Civil Rights war that engulfed the South...

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