Can Social Movements be Done Alone?

I have always wondered if a single person can create change or a social movement by themselves. In Karen Sternhiemer’s article, she gives an example of how a person named Tim De Christopher tried to buy 22,000 acres of forest land for 1.79 million to try the save the environment. However he did not actually have 1.79 million dollars to auction, and eventually he was put in jail. Her blog was mostly talking about saving the environment however, she did state a very interesting quote “One of the best ways to gain widespread support for a social movement is to convince the general public that without change, their lives will be impacted for the worse” (Sternhiemer, 2009, Par. 11). I agree with this statement, because I don’t believe that one person can change a whole social norm by themselves.

People who state that Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks were single individuals who changed social norms have the wrong perspective. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks were important individuals, however they were backed by the public. For example Martin Luther King had African American supporters who protested and supported him. Rosa Parks had other African Americans boycott the bus. These individuals just showed that if they try to make a change, then there life will be much better. In my opinion, I don’t believe that an individual can create an entire social movement by themselves.


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