[Quoted items are excerpts from the main reference article]
MOVEMENT STARTS WITH EMOTION
“We often think of movements as starting with a call to action. But movement research suggests that they actually start with emotion — a diffuse dissatisfaction with the status quo and a broad sense that the current institutions and power structures of the society will not address the problem. This brewing discontent turns into a movement when a voice arises that provides a positive vision and a path forward that’s within the power of the crowd.”
BangPD formed BH and incidentally BTS out of his brewing “anger” on the state of the music industry in Korea. Judging from the what the Korean name of BTS stand for we can assumed that their identity was born out of a discontent in not having enough music that tackle relevant youth issues.
MOVEMENTS STARTS SMALL
“They begin with a group of passionate enthusiasts who deliver a few modest wins. While these wins are small, they’re powerful in demonstrating efficacy to nonparticipants, and they help the movement gain steam. The movement really gathers force and scale once this group successfully co-opts existing networks and influencers. Eventually, in successful movements, leaders leverage their momentum and influence to institutionalize the change in the formal power structures and rules of society.”
Hailing from a relatively unknown, small agency BTS started of with a small but passionate fanbase. Despite the size, they were loud and proud of every win achieved at the beginnings of the band. This fueled curiosity and helped bring in new fans. The fans were also wise when they co-opted a key influencer to further launch BTS – The Billboard Music Awards. Though BTS was rising in popularity and following prior to the BBMAs, it served as an opportunity that opened more doors for them. The fans were able to leverage this to increase their momentum.
PRACTICES FOR LEADING CULTURAL MOVEMENTS AND HOW IT APPLIES TO BTS AND ARMY
FRAME THE ISSUE
This refer to the question of “why”. Identifying purpose. We all know how BTS recently struggled with the question of why they are doing what they are doing. This is in the middle of their rising success. A question that almost made them consider disbanding. But they collectively discovered or rediscovered their WHY and have articulated it to us in different occasion and in different forms. RM’s iconic “use us” is an epitome of this discovery journey. As an ARMY we have also come across the question of WHY we are here. Why are we supporting them? Though we have varied reasons, this sensitivity to our personal WHY is what we share together. We have different WHYs, but we all are able to channel this WHY to achieving heights for the band.
DEMONSTRATE QUICK WINS
“Movement makers are very good at recognizing the power of celebrating small wins.”
As a fandom we celebrate everything. Our ability to trend different things is an example of the value we put in celebrating BTS’ accomplishment and even our own.
CREATE SAFE HAVENS
“Movement makers are experts at creating or identifying spaces within which movement members can craft strategy and discuss tactics. “
SNS has been this place for us. Many of our operations started via DM/PM w/c then moved out into other platforms as we execute a roster of different initiatives. We find like minded people, create a venue for us to collaborate and bring together key objectives.
“Movement makers are experts at constructing and deploying symbols and costumes that simultaneously create a feeling of solidarity and demarcate who they are and what they stand for to the outside world. Symbols and costumes of solidarity help define the boundary between “us” and “them” for movements. “
The BTS and ARMY logo is a perfect example of a unifying symbol. The quotes “I purple you”, the color purple, the ARMY bomb, and so many more things that represent us is an example of how we are able to leverage symbolism, artifacts to strengthen our relationship with BTS and with each other.
RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF FRICTION
“In a movements-based approach to change, a moderate amount of friction is positive. A complete absence of friction probably means that little is actually changing.”
Our rationale, moderate friction with BH and with each other within the fandom is a litmus test that we are not stagnant, that we are changing, growing and that we have yet to succumb to group think.
Whenever I step out of being a fan and look at BTS and ARMY with a different lens, I get to see frameworks that operate in society manifested in our own microcosm. It allows me to understand further not the WHY we work so well as a fandom but the HOW.