Jade Brolly

Faculty Advisor

Micheal Graham

Document Type


Publication Date



Social movements and collective action have been a crucial point of inquiry for academic fields such a sociology, psychology, and social justice throughout the last half century. Although, a relatively young phenomenon in our world, the influence of social media on social development, particularly the use of social media as a communicative and organizational tool to promote progressive social change, requires serious consideration (Bogen, Bleiweiss & Orchowski, 2019). The #MeToo movement is a recent and ongoing example of a social movement reframing global conversations around sexual violence, which has been propelled by the use of social media platforms (Bogen, Bleiweiss & Orchowski, 2019). This has had impact on local and global levels, as social media gives a platform for more voices to be heard on issues impacting society. This has expanded the concept and expectations of activism through the formation of communities in the digital world with a collective identity (Zarkov & Davis, 2018). In the following sections of this paper, I will define social media and social movements as separate entities, explore how social media has reinforced social movements such as #MeToo, the importance of established community within social movements, and consider how a strong sense of belonging can promote equitable outcomes. While social media is not the only variable of significance for contemporary social movements, when used effectively, it has the potential to cross cultural and national barriers, challenge social norms and promote equity for all people. This will be explored in an attempt to expand societal awareness around the potential benefits and ramifications of social media's influence on social movements.


This presentation is a finalist for the Undergraduate Developing Scholars Research Excellence Award