POLC 99 lecture 5.docx

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29 Mar 2012
Lecture 5
Social movement: Theory and practice
Spectrum of Social mobilization:
- Revolution →social movement → collective protest
Explanations of collective action :
- Social movements are collectively organize actors who mobilize and make demands on the state
rather than seek to overthrow it.
Characteristics of social movements:
- Informal interaction networks
- Shared beliefs and solidarity
- Collective action focusing on conflicts
- Use of protest, they are not political party or interest groups
Classical Model (Social psychological approach):
- Focuses on the underlying psychological conditions that motivate individuals to engage in
collective action
- Structural strain →disruptive psychological state →social movement
- E.g. social isolation or atomization. Rapid increase in social-economic inequalities or frustrated
expectations, IMF riots
- Assumption of this model:
- Social movements are a collective response to some form of strain or conflict
- The central focus in on the role of individuals rather than systems in movement formation
- Motivation for movement participation is rooted in psychological rather than political goals.
- Limitations:
- Implies that movement participants suffer from psychological abnormalities
- Suggest a simple and direct relation between conflict and collective action
- Views social movements as make up of individuals rather than as collective phenomena
Resource mobilization model (Strategy based approach)
- Focuses on the internal organizational life of movements and the ways in which movements
mobilize resources for their emergence and survival.
- E.g. US civil rights movement
- Assumptions:
- Social movement formation requires an input of resources from some external group
- Social movements are collections of political actors dedicated to the advancement of their
stated substantive goals.
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