A social movement can be defined as, “an uninstitutionalized collectivity that operates on a sustained basis to exert external influence behalf of a cause” (Simons & Jones, 2011, p. 408). This definition limits movements because of the use of the term “uninstitutionalized.” This term can limit a group in the process of influencing people and making a change if they are associated within an institution. An example of a movement which by this definition would not be considered a movement was Obama’s 2008 Change Campaign. Correct me if I am wrong, but that election looked to get more young people to vote than any other election. I view this campaign as a social movement because it had a cause and influenced several people to make a change and vote. Never the less a social movement in my opinion is any group of people whether it is three or three thousand that begins with an idea and influences others to make a change no matter if the idea succeeds or fails. The social movement I have decided to analysis and investigate on is the “Going Green Movement.” This movement has been in the making for several years dating back to 1970’s along with the “tree huggers” of the 1990’s (Sara, 2012). But, for most Americans it became a reality when Al Gore took it upon himself to discuss the issue of our planet and what we are doing to it (Eilperin, 2008). Since this the movement has been trying to enlist over ten million volunteers to influence people through the media about what “Going Green” would mean for our world (Eilperin, 2008). This movement has been going on for several years and still exists today. It is a social movement where anyone in the world could play a part in. The “Going Green Campaign” can be found on the internet within several websites most focusing directly on the campaign along with movies and advertisements displaying to people what this campaign could mean for them. This campaign could be a social movement because it started with an idea and has blossomed into a worldwide movement. The “Go Green Campaign” is uninstitutionalized, has a cause, influences people by buying eco-friendly cars, recycling more, using more eco-friendly cleaning products and taking a second glance at their carbon footprint. This social movement uses the media very often to get their ideas and facts out to the world, so that people can have a better understanding of what going green really means. Also, using the media within a social movement helps the movement spread faster than word of mouth. I found a video on you tube that displays facts about what going green would mean for our world. This video does a great job of educating someone who is not familiar with the campaign and could possibly even persuade them to go green after viewing it. The video explains what going green is, how it would affect our earth and what we as humans can do to accomplish the goal of rebuilding our world’s nature. This artifact is an excellent example of the social movement because it could persuade someone to go green and change their and maybe someone else’s lifestyles completely. This video puts into perspective the going green movement within a few minutes and does so without using scare tactics to get the point across. The artifact could be viewed by young children all the way up to older adults. It does not discriminate who can and cannot view it because it has pleasant music, animation, and gives out facts for people to read instead of listening to someone discuss them, which could sway people on its own. Fisher talks about how we are story tellers and that is what can make us persuasive towards others (1984). This artifact tells a story with a beginning, middle, and an end. The beginning is showing our world what our carbon footprints are doing, the middle discusses ways we can reduce these footprints and the end shows if we make the change and send the message on, then maybe we could start rebuilding our earth. There are several videos showing the same information as this one, but this video gives a person time to absorb what their actually reading and does not do it in a scary or frightening way. This artifact could be persuasive because the number of people it could reach as well as all the different cultures it could touch. Social movements look to be a tricky job in a sense. They take a lot of time and dedication by the leader and the people supporting it. Sometimes they are never accomplished or take years upon years to accomplish for instance in this case the green movement is still forever changing and moving with no end point in site. This social movement looks to be one that will possibly not have an endpoint because the earth is always changing as are humans.
Fisher, W. (1984). Narration as human communication paradigm: the case of public moral
argument. Communication Monographs, 51, 1-22.
Simons, H., & Jones, J. (2011). Persuasion in society: Leading social movements. New York,
NY: Sage Publications