Real Change Beyond The Hashtag

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 616 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 6, 2024

Words: 616|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 6, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Logos
  3. Ethos
  4. Pathos
  5. Conclusion


Malcolm Gladwell's essay, "Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted," explores the role of social media in modern activism. In this essay, I will rhetorically analyze Gladwell's argument and evaluate his use of rhetoric to persuade readers. By examining his use of logos, ethos, and pathos, we can understand how he constructs a compelling argument against the efficacy of social media in revolutionizing social and political movements.

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Gladwell's use of logos is evident throughout his essay as he presents logical arguments against the effectiveness of social media in activism. He emphasizes that traditional activism requires a high level of commitment and personal sacrifice, contrasting it with the ease of online participation. He cites examples such as the Civil Rights Movement, in which activists faced significant risks and obstacles, to highlight the depth of commitment required for real social change. By using historical evidence, Gladwell strengthens his argument that social media alone cannot bring about meaningful revolutions.

In addition, Gladwell appeals to reason by discussing the limitations of online mobilization. He argues that social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are effective in organizing small-scale, low-risk actions, but they lack the ability to sustain long-term movements. He points out that online activism often fails to translate into meaningful offline actions, as the commitment required in face-to-face interactions is absent in virtual spaces. By presenting logical arguments backed by evidence, Gladwell effectively challenges the prevailing belief in the transformative power of social media.


Gladwell establishes his ethos by presenting himself as an authority on the subject of social change and activism. As a renowned author and journalist, his credentials and expertise lend credibility to his argument. He supports his claims with well-researched facts and historical references, further reinforcing his credibility as a knowledgeable source. By relying on ethos, Gladwell builds trust with the audience, increasing the persuasiveness of his argument.

Gladwell also acknowledges opposing viewpoints and addresses potential counterarguments, further establishing his ethos. He acknowledges the positive aspects of social media, such as its role in spreading awareness and mobilizing people quickly. However, he argues that these benefits pale in comparison to the challenges associated with sustaining real social change. By acknowledging the validity of opposing viewpoints, Gladwell shows that he has carefully considered alternative perspectives, enhancing his credibility as a fair and trustworthy writer.


While logos and ethos form the backbone of Gladwell's argument, he also utilizes pathos to engage readers emotionally. He emphasizes the importance of strong ties and the power of personal relationships in driving social change. By doing so, he taps into the readers' desire for genuine human connection and highlights the limitations of online interactions. His discussion of the bravery and sacrifice exhibited by activists in past movements evokes empathy and admiration, eliciting an emotional response from the readers.

Furthermore, Gladwell appeals to the readers' sense of urgency and desire for tangible results. He emphasizes the need for sustained commitment and real-world action to address pressing social issues. By fostering a sense of responsibility and motivation, he encourages readers to reevaluate their reliance on social media as a catalyst for change.

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In "Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted," Malcolm Gladwell successfully employs rhetoric to argue against the effectiveness of social media in driving significant social and political revolutions. Through his use of logos, he presents logical arguments supported by evidence and historical examples, challenging the notion that social media alone can bring about meaningful change. His establishment of ethos enhances his credibility, bolstering the persuasiveness of his argument. Additionally, his skillful use of pathos engages readers emotionally, evoking empathy and driving them towards real-world action. By analyzing Gladwell's rhetorical techniques, we can gain a deeper understanding of how rhetoric can shape and influence public opinion.

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Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Real Change Beyond the Hashtag. (2024, March 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
“Real Change Beyond the Hashtag.” GradesFixer, 06 Mar. 2024,
Real Change Beyond the Hashtag. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
Real Change Beyond the Hashtag [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 06 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from:
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