The classification of a social movement is a loosely organized but sustained campaign in support of a social goal, typically either the implementation or the prevention of a change in society’s structure or values, (Encyclopædia Britannica. 2013.) The definition of a social movement presented in our text is fairly similar, which states a social movement, that is a movement that was uninstitutionalized or outside the mainstream and are caused oriented collectivities: they exist primarily to promote an ideology and/or a program of action, (Simmons & Jones, 2011, p. 480). The social movement I am focusing on is the 2011 Egyptian Revolution in Tahrir Square, also known as the “Facebook Revolution.” Tahrir square is located in the heart of Cairo, Egypt. The revolution lasted a grueling 18 days with the objective of over throwing the Egyptian government and its dictator of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak. This was successfully done by the use of social media and its audiences.
The Facebook Revolution meets the definition of a social movement in a profuse amount of ways. The occupation of Tahrir Square lasted a little over two weeks, but the birth of this movement came a year prior—June 8, 2010, (The New York Times. 2012.). Egyptians will forever remember this date, all because of one Egyptian man named Wael Ghonim. Ghonim is a 29-year-old Egyptian Google marketing executive who was browsing Facebook in his home in Dubai and found disquieting images of a 28-year-old Egyptian bloody and beaten lifeless by the Egyptian police, Ghonim then took radical steps and created a Facebook Page titled: “Kullena Khaled Said” — “We Are All Khaled Said, ” (The New York Times. 2012.). Moments after the creation of this page hundreds of people joined and spread the news of what was taking place in Tahrir Square. Within a few months the Facebook page had reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world, who then were exposed to the manslaughter taking place in the country of Egypt. This was huge for the Egyptians in the revolution, because more than 80 million people occupy Egypt, with 48 million being poor, 2.5 living in extreme poverty and over 3 million Egyptians were unemployed, (The New York Times. 2012.). Therefore, the Egyptians started a unisitutionalized, cause-oriented movement that would forever change Egypt and its people.
The use of Facebook and other social media outlets throughout this revolution allowed inhabitants all over the world get insight on what was taking place in Tahrir Square, which let American News Outlets share with our nation what was happening thousands of miles away in the Middle East. Consequently the artifact I have chosen to illustrate the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 is exceedingly persuasive to its audiences; these audiences being anyone around the world that poses access and interest to the social media, the news and media outlets. This artifact is showing the people in Egypt displaying the movement of revolution by which they “seek to replace guiding ideologies, institutions, and sometimes entire regimes, on the basis of new governing principals,” (Simmons & Jones. 2011. P. 482.). The overthrowing of the Egyptian Government falls effortlessly into the classifications of social movement practices.
This artifact shows that the 2011 Egyptian Revolution has and will forever revolutionize the ideology of the act of a social movement. The artifact shows thousands of people all over Egypt flocking to Tahrir Square revolting against to government for their freedom. These valiant men and women of Egypt fought the Egyptian government and its military for 18 days for their sovereignty and equality while broadcasting the blood bath for audiences all around the world to witness. Which consequently led to the government to pull all Internet and cell phone access to all the people of Egypt. This did not stop the Egyptian people from fighting to overthrow their dictatorship and demanding their society’s structure be reformed. The goal of this social movement was to overthrow the government; Egyptians never imagined that they would gain this victory via the use of social media, or that it would receive worldwide coverage in such a short time, and with little to no internet access at times. This artifact illustrates the dynamics of this revolution and displays its social movement characteristics.
Although after 18 days Mubarak stepped down from dictatorship and is currently proceeding in trial, the battle is not over. The Egyptians are still currently fighting for their society to one day develop into democracy, hoping that day comes soon. Egypt is currently being controlled by the military, which is not and ideal governing system for the Egyptians. Although the Egyptians have not reached complete equality, they have made immense progression from their pre-revolution civilization. Because of the “Facebook Revolution,” and the use of social media throughout this journey Egypt has come a long way in their movement for a democracy and their freedom. Egypt has been forever changed, which gives hope to other countries existing in dictatorship.
Although social movements differ in size, they are all essentially collective. That is, they result from the more or less spontaneous coming together of people whose relationships are not defined by rules and procedures but who merely share a common outlook on society, (Encyclopædia Britannica. 2013.) Which is undeniably portrayed through this artifact, proving that the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 is in fact a social movement. (Danielle Bishop)
Simons, H., & Jones, J. (2011). Persuasion in society: Leading social movements. New York, NY:
Social movement. (2013). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/551335/social-movement
Vargas , J. A. (2012, Februrary 17). Spring awakening how an egyptian revolution began on facebook. The New York Times. Retrieved from Spring Awakening How an Egyptian Revolution Began on Facebook.