From Pebble to Avalanche: How Information and Communications Technologies Empowered Underprivileged Actors Through Ages
Keywords:literacy, social movements, communication, organization, information and communication technologies, ICT, empowerment
AbstractAccompanied by growing literacy, information and communication technologies (ICT) have empowered states, organizations, but also – and perhaps most crucially – individuals, creating a more liberal and democratic environment. While also used as tools of social control, those technologies have often been used by revolutionaries and other agents of social change, aiding not only the surveillance state and for-profit organizations, but also individuals and non-state social actors, like social movements. In this paper I review literature on literacy and ICT, and, backed up by the results of a recent survey of international social movements, I conclude that at this pattern of empowerment, traceable throughout the human history, is continuing with the most recent information revolution.