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Globalization Effect on Social Movements

A social movement is an independently organized effort by a large group of people to achieve a specific goal, usually a social or political one. Modern movements often use technology and the Internet to mobilize people around the world (Cosma, 2011). Adapting to communication trends is a common theme in successful movements, which is only a small part of the process known as globalization. Over the last couple of centuries, this change initiated many innovations, reforms, and improvements, including those of social movements.

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Globalization, although it seems to be a commonly used terminology, in reality, is hard to define in a single sentence. The “true” definition of globalization would be so massive that Sheffield, Korotayev, and Grinin (2013) wrote an entire book depicting the process from every possible angle and view. One such view is defining globalization by what it brought to the world. Following the footprints of historical causation, the Internet appears to be one of the most significant results of the process. Today, most of the world’s population has access to the Internet, and it has been implemented into every possible aspect of society (Globalization and world order, 2014). Its ability to quickly, economically, and uncontrollably distribute information around the world is a useful tool for social movements.

Social movements act as spokesmen for the interests of individual social strata and groups, as well as subjects of the reformation process, and so did the Arab Spring using the power of social networks. It is a wave of protests and uprisings in the Arab world in early 2011, which, due to their innovative methods of the revolution were “rather different from the global justice movements” (Sheffield et al., 2013). Owing to Facebook the Arab Spring was able to implement a multitude of alterations into the social order and bring down the despised power structure, or, simply put, make social changes.

Connecting everyone in the world through an informational web is only a small part of what globalization has generated. Finding innovative ways to use these “gifts” and exploiting them is up to every person in the world. The way Arab Spring used the relatively new technology is inspiring and provokes thought about the endless possibilities of what globalization can bring if used with righteous intent.


Cozma, I. F. (2011). The relation between globalization and personal values across 53 countries and 28 years [PhD dissertation]. University of Tennessee.

Globalization and world order. (2014). Chatham House. Web.

Sheffield, J., Korotayev, A., & Grinin, L. (Eds.). (2013). Globalization: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Emergent Publications.

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