Social Movement Phenomena and the Emergence of Communities of Becoming

How to Cite

Hershorn, R. (2009). Social Movement Phenomena and the Emergence of Communities of Becoming. Stream: Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication, 1(2), 49–70.


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.