Alum Schradie Published in Social Media & Society

06 Mar, 2018

Alum Schradie Published in Social Media & Society

Alum Jen Schradie published "Moral Monday Is More Than a Hashtag: The Strong Ties of Social Movement Emergence in the Digital Era" in Social Media & Society. The article tackled the North Carolina Moral Monday protests and the importance of off-line structured organizations.


This article explains the origin puzzle of the 2013 Moral Monday protests in North Carolina. Social media were marginal to the emergence of this civil disobedience movement, yet a common view is that digital technology’s weak ties are an integral part of large-scale collective action in the digital era. Instead, strong offline ties with structured organizations were critical to its emergence. Qualitative data show that a network of structured organizations, grassroots organizing, traditional media, and an ideological response to an economic and political crisis worked together to propel this large-scale movement. In effect, both structural and cultural factors shaped the activism in this case, not individual or digital explanations. Consequently, this article also traces the historic phases of social movement theory, situating a digital emphasis as part of an evolving focus on social movement origin mechanisms. Emergence scholarship on digital activism would benefit from expanding the entry point of protest earlier and broader than a hashtag’s debut, as digital explanations may not be as distinct of a theoretical construct as previous research suggests.

Read the rest of the article and more from Social Media & Society here.