What is Social movement ?

There are several movements on new media but we have to define what is social movement? In order to prevent either supplying a simple definition or a more complex, broad definition, Crossley (2002) did not offer any form of definition to the concept of social movements, instead, he adopted a more open approach of defining some common social groups and comparing their shared properties to see what make them social movements. Crossley admits that social movements are “collective ventures” but at the same time raise the question: “what makes a venture count as collective”? (Crossley, 2002, p.1&2).
To analytically examine movements, Crossley takes in to consideration of the definitions of four (4) sociologically notorious theorists, namely Blumer, Eyerman & Jamison, Tarrow, Della Porta & Diani. Blumer(1969: 99) taught that social movements could be viewed as collective enterprises seeking to establish a new order of life; having their foundation in a condition of unrest and deriving their motive power from wishes and hopes for a new system of life but are embarked into the dissatisfaction of the current form of life. (Crossley, 2002, p.3). Here it is very important to re-emphasize that as Crossley also agrees with and quoted from  Blumer, Crossley distinguish social movements from forms of collective action that are result of immediate reactions  due to collective discontent such as “panics or mass hysteria” and that are not aiming to rebuilt social life in order to  dig to the root of the problem and change the system. We can give several examples as reaction from social media crowd: such as anger to a new president election or new government but does not end up with real opposition group against the government. Anger of basketball fans at facebook groups or at twitter channel due to match. We can call these as collective online actions but these are not social movement until they seek a social change and become a social activity that seeks to have a “new form of life”

Even though, it can be said that the collective action of any group of social actors and the result they produce (whether through protests or dialogue, whether it is online or on the streets) must affect society at large or get reaction of wide audience of the society in order to qualify as a social movement, I would argue with this and also consider that, a group even that has little impact on the society, if continuously and collectively show reaction or resistance or aim to change the system and form of life should be accepted as social movement. For example, gay & lesbian movement, even though some countries could not get collective action, is indeed a social movement.

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