The Future of Change (Hardcover)
How Technology Shapes Social Revolutions
Cornell University Press, 9781501748110, 240pp.
Publication Date: April 15, 2020
In The Future of Change, Ray Brescia identifies a series of "social innovation moments" in American history. Through these moments--during which social movements have embraced advances in communications technologies--he illuminates the complicated, dangerous, innovative, and exciting relationship between these technologies, social movements, and social change. Brescia shows that, almost without fail, developments in how we communicate shape social movements, just as those movements change the very technologies themselves.
From the printing press to the television, social movements have leveraged communications technologies to advance change. In this moment of rapidly evolving communications, it's imperative to assess the role that the Internet, mobile devices, and social media can play in promoting social justice. But first we must look to the past, to examples of movements throughout American history that successfully harnessed communications technology, thus facilitating positive social change. Such movements embraced new communications technologies to help organize their communities; to form grassroots networks in order to facilitate face-to-face interactions; and to promote positive, inclusive messaging that stressed their participants' shared dignity and humanity. Using the past as prologue, The Future of Change provides effective lessons in the use of communications technology so that we can have the best communicative tools at our disposal--both now and in the future.