Putting It Together: Social Movements, Media, and Technology


People come together for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a crowd is just an aggregate of people who happen to be doing the same thing, like waiting for a bus or shopping at the mall. Although these people may be in the same place at the same time, they are not pursuing any collective agenda.

Some people are brought together for certain events like concerts, weddings or funerals. Some crowds come together to further an agenda. They may attempt to create or resist social change.

As you saw in the examples in this module, the type of collective action can vary but these often come about because the people involved do not feel that they will be listened to without taking up their cause. They may believe that appropriate change cannot come through any other venue than their collective action.

Several hundred years ago, social movements were short lived and often violent. If the townspeople gathered their torches and pitchforks to go and kill the Frankenstein monster, once that task has been completed, the social movement was over. Present-day social movements are less violent and can become national or even international movements, simply through the creation of a website.

What you learned to do:

  • Describe the causes and development of collective behavior, social movements, and social change
  • Describe technology in a sociological context
  • Describe the evolution and role of the media in society
  • Understand and discuss how we analyze media and technology through various socialogical perspectives