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Lecture 14

SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Extreme Measures, Collective Behavior, Relative Deprivation

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Sheldon Ungar

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Sociology Lecture 14 Social Movements
Social movements mean many different things
Workers rights movements: working condition child labour, minimum wage (late 19th cent)
Heavy debates about minimum wage
Woe’s rights oeet right to ote 1919
Social movement is the study of conflict in a given society
Civil rights movement march in Washington 1963
Gay rights movement Toronto pride parade
Collective behaviour voluntary often spontaneous activity that is engaged in by a large
number of people and typically violates dominate group norms and values
Social movements challenging the way society is, something about society can be better
and they strive to make change, something of status quo needs to be different
Dominant perspective shifts and changes
“oe olletie atios are routie ad others are o routie
Routine collective action tends 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
Something may start as non routine and turn routine because of the strive to create change
Three centuries ago social movements typically were small localized and violent
Subsequent growth of the state led to changes in social movement including
Growing in size: partly due to increased literacy, modes of communication, and new densely
populated social setting
Becoming less violent: size and organization often allowed movements to become
sufficiently powerful to get their way without frequently resorting to extreme measures.
Were four stages in effort to expand rights of citizens
Civil citizenship: 18th century struggle for right to free speech, freedom of religion and
justice before the law
Political citizenship: 19th/early 20th century struggle for right to vote and run for office
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Social citizenship: 20th century struggle for right to certain level of economic security and
full participation in social life of country
Universal citizenship: last third of 20th century struggle to recognize right of marginal groups
to full citizenship and rights of humanity as a whole
Social movements are an organized activity that encourages or discourages social change
At its heart social movements are about an issue big or small and seeking to encourage or
discourage change in regards to this issue.
Usually the broader the issue the bigger the social movement the more defined the issue
the smaller the social movement
Social movements are among the most important type of collective behaviour 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
There many subcultures and countercultures found in industrial and post industrial societies
encourage social movements
In north America and Europe significant public issues are likely to give rise to social
oeets faourig hage ad to outeroeet’s resistig it.
Example gay right movement has won the right to same sex marriage in response,
countermovement has also formed.
Sociologist classify social moments according to several variables
One variable asks who is change some movements target selected people others try to
change everyone
A second variable asks how much change? Some movement seek only limited change in our
lives and others pursue radical transformation of society
Combining results in four types of social movements
Alternative social movements least threatening (specific individual, specific change): they
are least threatening to the status quo because they seek limited change in only some
narrow segment of the population
(specific individual, total change) Redemptive religious social movement: they also have
selective focus but they seek radical change in those they engage.
Reformative social movement (everyone, specific 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 refractory countermovement
trying to preserve the status quo or return to the past
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