Social Movement Phenomena and the Emergence of Communities of Becoming

  • Robert Hershorn School of Communication, SFU


This paper will provide an overview of several noted social movement theories. This will be followed by an examination of the legacy of Habermas’s public sphere and Castells’s network theory. I will explore how the former excludes peripheral actors from societal dialogue while linking the tenets of the latter to recent movement trends. The analysis will then shift to an examination of the orientation of engaged social movement actors. How have their internetworked activities contributed to the development of identity or communities of “becoming.†Are they replicating the hegemonic behaviors within the established societal structures they repudiate? How can conceptual and practical developments inform us of the potential of movement actions within altered spaces? Overall, I hope to provide an effective analysis that clearly captures the potential pitfalls and openings for movement actors – both theoretically and practically – in their attempt to effect change and enhance their sense of community through ephemeral networks.

Author Biography

Robert Hershorn, School of Communication, SFU
Robert Hershorn is a PhD Candidate in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. His research lies at the intersection of debates over media reform and enhanced methods of conflict resolution. He is interested in how community-based organizations use media to transform perceptions of conflict. Such organizations bring “former enemies†together in an effort to alter inherited stories and create a community of moderates who seek peace.
How to Cite
Hershorn, R. (1). Social Movement Phenomena and the Emergence of Communities of Becoming. Stream: Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication, 1(2), 49–70. Retrieved from
Research in Brief (Peer-Reviewed)