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African Studies
AFRI 3100
Marc Tedder

Sociology 1002-A th January 17 , 2012 Christian Caron Social Movements Agenda • Collective Action • Social Problems as Collective Behavior • Social Movement • Types of Social Movements • Claims making • Explaining Social Movements • Stages in Social Movements • Social Movements and Social Change • Online Participation & Group Projects • Group Projects The Learning Triangle • The learning triangle consists of three points: 1. The textbook 2. Each other 3. The lectures • We learn from all three of these things to help us better understand the class and the material that we are studying. Social Movements: A Force to Change the World • Try to look at the world as a social movement. • This also involves looking at change in society. • Social movements is a broad framework, however most significant changes in the past 50 years happened as social movements. • Some examples would be: th • Workers’ Rights Movement (Work condition, Child Labour, Minimum wage) (late 19 century) - This was the first and greatest social movement • Women Rights Movement (Right to Vote 1919) - The Women Rights Movement had many different lives. They would tackle certain issues, and when they achieved their goal, they would settle down and then later on re- emerge to tackle another issue. • Civil Rights Movement (1960s) – March on Washington in 1963 • Gay Rights Movement (1980s) • Green Movement (more recently) • All of these movements, although all very different, ask for the same things: rights and equality. Each of these movements work towards a more equal community with fair rights. Collective Behaviour • Collective Behavior: It is voluntary, often spontaneous activity that is engaged in by a large number of people and typically violates dominant group norms and values, however not always. Sometimes it is a reaction to something that took place and is not spontaneous. • Some collective actions are “routine” and others are “non-routine”. • Routine collective actions tend to be nonviolent and follow established patterns of behaviour in bureaucratic social structures. • Non-routine collective action tends to be short-lived and sometimes violent (mob, riot, panic). From Collective Action to Social Movements • Most non-routine collective action requires social organization. There is some element of social organization but not as much. • Collective action can result in creation of one or more formal organizations or bureaucracies to direct and further aims of its members. • Institutionalization of protest signifies establishment of a social movement. This is how it all starts. • For social movements to grow, members must make activities, goals, and ideology of movement consistent with interests, beliefs, and values of potential recruits. The group must show the desire to add new members and spread the word of their cause to get others interested. • History of earliest social movements is struggle for acquisition of constantly broadening citizenship rights and opposition to those struggles. There is always another group that is actively or passively against the group. Social Problems as Collective Behaviour • Blumer (1971) maps out the career of social problems. - How do topics or issues become social problems? - Why does it now need to be addressed? Why was it not before? - How do social problems emerge? • Social problems are the result of collective definition. - We as a population decide if it needs to be addressed. 1. The Emergence of Social Problems 2. Legitimation of Social Problems 3. Mobilization of Action 4. Formation of an Official Plan of Action 5. Implementation of the Official Plan The History and Future of Social Movements: The Past 300 years • Three centuries ago, social movements typically were small, localized, and violent. This is because there were many people with problems, but they had no power and not enough people engaged. This is what forced them to act out. • Subsequent growth of the state led to changes in social movements, including: • Growing in size (partly due to increased literacy, modes of communication, and new densely populated social settings). Growing in state leads to change. • Becoming less violent (size and organization often allowed movements to become sufficiently powerful to get their way without frequently resorting to extreme measures). Organization was key. • There were four stages in efforts to expand rights of citizens: 1. Civil citizenship: 18 century-struggle for right to free speech, freedom of religion, and justice before the law. - Others should not be put in jail for having their own opinions, religious beliefs etc. - A push for equal rights. 2. Political citizenship: 19 /early 20 century struggle for right to vote and run for office. 3. Social citizenship: 20 century-struggle for right to certain level of economic security and full participation in social life of country. - Should not discriminate against gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, etc. - It is a small safety net that says everyone should have, for example, a base level of nutrition. th- 4. Universal citizenship: Last third of 20 century struggle to recognize right of marginal groups to full citizenship and rights of humanity as a whole. - Not just institutional, but refusing to allow discrimination in every place. Everyone has the same opportunities. - They should not be blocked by their membership in another group. Social Movements • A social movement is an organized activity that encourages or discourages social change. • It is not just sitting around, agreeing with each other, and talking about the issues. • At its heart, social movements are about an issue, big or small, and seeking to encourage or discourage change in regards to this issue. • It is a debate, usually one group on both sides of the issue. It is advocated around both small issues and large issues (ex. Smoking, composting). • Social movements are defined by the issues that people are interested in. • Usually, the broader the issue, the bigger the social movement, the more defined the issue, the smaller the social movement. The smaller it is, the more personal it usually is. • Social movements are among the most important types of collective behavior because they often have lasting effects on the shape of our society. • Social movements are common in the modern world, but this was not always the case. Pre-industrial societies are tightly bound by tradition, making social movements extremely rare. We now however have more power, so there are more social movements. • Subcultures and countercultures feel out of the mainstream and often see things they want to change. • In North America and Europe, significant public issues are likely to give rise to social movements favouring change and to counter-movements resisting it (ex. gay rights movement has won the right to same-sex marriage. In response, counter-movement has also formed). Types of Social Movement • Sociologists classify social movements according to several variables. • Variable 1: Who is changed? Some movements target selected people, others try to change everyone. Who is the target of change? • Variable 2: How much change? Some movements seek only limited change in our lives, and others pursue radical transformation of society. Change in our lives or transformation of society? • Combining these variables results in four types of social movements (Aberle 1966). The Four Types of Social Movements 1. Alternative Social Movements (specific individuals, limited change) • They are least threatening to the status quo because they seek limited change in only some narrow segment of the population. (i.e. Planned Parenthood) • It is easy to accept things when you do not have to make changes in your own life. 2. Redemptive Social Movements (specific individuals, radical change) • They also have a selective focus, but they seek radical change in those they engage. (i.e. Alcoholic Anonymous) • Not one small thing but something that is more profound in human nature. It is a lifetime process. 3. Reformative Social Movements (everyone, limited change) • They generally work within the existing political system, seek only limited social change but encompass the entire society. They can be progressive (promoting a new social pattern) or reactionary (counter-movements trying to preserve the status quo or to return to past social patterns). (i.e. abortion and anti-abortion movement in Canada) • They work in political systems and with laws. It has an impact on a huge segment of the population. 4. Revolutionary Social Movements (everyone, radical change) • They are the most extreme. They seek basic transformation of a society. Sometimes pursuing specific goals, sometimes spinning utopian dreams, these social movements reject existing social institutions as flawed while promoting radically new alternative (i.e. the nationalist or sovereigntist movement in Quebec). • They are looking to overthrow institutions or politics. Social Movement Story • Social Movements – What are they? • Issues – Broad (big) vs. Specific (small) • Types of Social Movement • Claims Making • Stages of Social Movement Claims Making (very important for your term paper!!) • In 1981, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention began to track a strange disease that was killing people, most of them homosexual men. • It was a deadly disease, but there was little public attention and few stories in the mass media. • Only about five years later did the public become aware of the rising number of deaths and begin to think
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