Small Change – MALCOLM GLADWELL (Analysis)

Gladwell’s “Small Change” article had very good content as well as a well thought out theme. It touched on some very good points. He contrasts a modern day example of activism to an event in the 1960s. It is true that social networking sites are a new way to further social activism, and gives his main point on pg. 42, as follows:

With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coördinate, and give voice to their concerns.”

His view of the matter is quite good, but it is not clearly portrayed throughout the flow of article because he dives a little too deep into the specific stories of the Greensboro Sit-ins and others. For him to draw the connection of the social activism to this new age of social networking, he does not have to give specifics of the story. This complicates the reading and makes the thesis cloudy for the reader.

For example, Gladwell begins explaining the events at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, and then equates this information with that of his thesis, that Facebook & Twitter makes it easier for the powerless to voice their concerns. But he then goes back into the story and highlights other stories, whereas he could have spoke abou the stories first, and then wrapped up by correlating social activism with social networking.

This article is more of a history lesson rather than a technological writing because most of the information covers the history of what social activism is/was as apposed to directly portraying what it has to do with today’s technologies.

Read Gladwell’s article here.


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