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Case Study: #metoo hashtag
as a Social Media Campaign
Numerous people think that the #metoo hashtag appeared quite recently. However, this is not the case. The #metoo hashtag first appeared in 2006, long before accusations surfaced against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. The movement gained global support and popularity more than a decade later in 2017.
Despite empowering millions of people, it also triggered dramatic events, permitted “side-effects” and other kinds of controversies, such as false accusations and #himtoo. Therefore, this study intends to analyze the #metoo movement and re-discover how it became a modern social symbol with resilient philosophies and a widespread impact on individuals and society.
To study the #metoo phenomenon, we first have to analyze the movement through the prism of social theory. Specifically, through the macro-sociological lens of “Symbolic Power,” which was developed by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and is defined as “the ability to reconstruct reality.”
The #metoo phenomenon did create a new reality between the sexes and empowered individuals and groups worldwide, which is how Bourdieu’s definition of Symbolic Power, is fulfilled and reflected.
However, what triggered the #metoo movement and transformed its impact on a micro-level into a viral social media campaign across the planet is reviewed through “Symbolic Interactionism.” It is a theory initially created by George Herbert Mead and further developed by follower Herbert Blumer in “Society as Symbolic Interaction.”
Blumer’s concept is based on the fact that all human interactions in society imply communication-based on certain social symbols. He considers that people act based on specific values individuals attach to objects and events. In other words, rather than merely reacting to external stimuli, social values develop and change during social interaction. “Human beings interpret or ‘define’ each other’s actions instead of merely reacting to each other’s activity,” Blumer writes.
We expect an advanced understanding of the #metoo phenomenon from this case study...
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