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The Impact of Social Media on Social Movements

The New Opportunity And Mobilizing Structure

This paper seeks to explain and test the formation process of social movements by addressing two overarching interrelated factors: opportunity structures and mobilizing structures. I hypothesize that social movements are caused by opportunity structures such as economic, institutional, and social contexts of a country conditioned by its access to social media. Social movements are not created by a single variable but rather by a set of variables that create an interaction effect. Discovering ways to mass organize is as essential for the occurrence of social movements as the grievances that make people want to organize in the first place. The introduction of social media into the discussion is thought to have completely changed the way people are able to organize. In order to test my hypothesis, I use data from a number of different sources for all countries in 2008 - 2012.

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