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The Future of ChangeHow Technology Shapes Social Revolutions$
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Ray Brescia

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748110

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748110.001.0001

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The Great Divide

The Great Divide

(p.77) 4 The Great Divide
The Future of Change

Ray Brescia

Cornell University Press

This chapter recounts the radical change in communications technology that helped launch many organizations that abandoned the translocal organizing structure because the most modern means of communication available to them—the computerized mailing list—made it easy for them to do so. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement—which was built on networks of cells of grassroots groups spread out through the country and coordinated, loosely, by national organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)—the new movements, for the most part, utilized the ability to engage in mass mailing to create national organizations divorced from grassroots networks. Mass mailing would then shape social movements for two generations and the next forty years. This forty-year period also saw two different phenomenon unfold: one socioeconomic and one social. There was both a dramatic increase in economic inequality as well as a decrease in generalized trust.

Keywords:   communications technology, translocal organizing, computerized mailing list, Civil Rights Movement, mass mailing, national organizations, grassroots networks, social movements, economic inequality, trust

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