SOC103 CHP16 Social Movements
- humans exist within society, shapes it and gets shaped by it too.
- voluntary association is a group formed by voluntary membership. unlike other
voluntary associations, social movements usually have a political goal.
- social movements are organized groups of people with an agenda or plan for social
change, to be achieved through agitation and political pressure.
- to help people live in harmony, we have developed social codes
- learned these rules and follow them most of the time
- social life is changing all the time
- change often starts from a narrow goal which ends up transforming the society.
INTERDEPENDENCE: THE REAL STATE OF NATURE
- one of the fundamental feature of social life, and which contributes most to social
integration is, interdependence.
- people need one another and benefit from each other
- interdependence promotes tolerance and civility
- all of our interdependence is important as sources of solidarity (organic) in an
- market respond to our human need for interdependence, and they are self-regulating
in the sense that they set prices without political interference. this ability is a feature of
- past 30 years, deregulation has become the prime source of increased economic
instability and inequality, hollowing out the middle class and transferring wealth from
poor to rich.
- internet institutions (youtube, facebook, google) is a market in information, virtually
unregulated, extremely diversed
- the richness of the internet has continued to delocalize social interactions
- society today is a network of networks
-according to research six degree of separation we are all connected by only 6 people from anyone in the world.
- small world property, that individuals with very large and diverse networks played an
especially important role in linking people and network.
- these linking individuals are sociometric stars.
- more recently, Ron Burt (sociologist) have called them brokers or even
- a name for intermediaries between individuals, organizations, and
- we cannot control the size or quality of the network to which we belong.
- at best we can try to insinuate ourselves into other people's large and extensive
networks, if we can identify them.
-> classic studies
-improvised news: a sociological study of rumor
- one mechanism by which we carry out ‘small world’ business is through rumors.
- rumors are often the medium where ordinary people express political views,
construct images of reality and show their social solidarity
- rumors are improvised news
- rumors travel through existing networks and provide a basis for sociability
- information conveyed is sometimes distorted but always carries
important social truths
- information, rumors often gets distorted as it travels from one to another.
- according to Shibutani, rumor-formation is a problem solving strategy that relies on the
pooling of resources, knowledge and intelligence, to make an informed and critical
assessment of the situation.
- rumors typically emerge when unusual, unexpected events occur, and the normally
reliable channels of communication break down.
- rumors are not merely the result of faulty communication
- but resources may include accurate data, guesses and beliefs.
- in a collective transaction, there are 5 roles to perform
- 1. messenger - 2. interpreter
- 3. skeptic
- 4. protagonist
- 5. decision maker
- rumors can also collaboratively gain accuracy and provide more stability
- rumor is a form of communication
- which spreads within a network through a series of interpersonal
communications, until they eventually reach the outskirts of the communication
- by sharing and building bits of information of the rumor, the improvised
news story (rumor) becomes uniform across different members
- rumor is a powerful method of communication with the potential to strengthen and
increase solidarity of networks.
- theory is too simplistic and fails to consider other forces that influence in rumor
- e.g. intergroup distrust, competition, and conflict.
VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS AND SOCIABILITY
- voluntary associations are more complex than networks, which address a wide variety
of concerns, include alumni associations, charitable and support groups
- all strive for social organization and integration
- promote familiarity among their members through communication and
- the more people work together on a common goal, the more similar they
- these voluntary associations often aimed at solving particular problems which are
rooted ultimately in sociability, which some have considered a natural human impulse.
- e.g. play
- according to Huizinga, PLAY has 3 features that attract people
- DEPARTURE FROM ORDINARY OR REAL LIFE - OCCUPIES ITS OWN TIME AND PLACE
- one thing that makes playing with others is fun, different people bring different qualities
and personalities to the event.
- differences make social interaction interesting and unpredictable
- even play is free etc, there are social norms to obey, related to civility to keep us little
- people organize voluntarily, in all aspects of life, which is not always goal oriented.
THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS
- voluntary associations provide sociability (unpredicted effects)
- also brings together a diverse group of people for a common cause
- increase people’s knowledge and social tolerance
- these associations are often sites of positive learning and schools for
- trust, like familiarity is essential in society, a key to social order, cooperation and
- trust is a set of socially learned and socially confirmed expectations that people
have of each other, though trust in general is limited and conditional
- still, trust enables us to live near one another without fear
- voluntary associations that are more connected with one another help to promote
generalized trust and social cohesion
PEOPLE CONTROL ONE ANOTHER INFORMALLY
- people can be made to feel guilt or shame even without enforcing social norms.
- informal social control, controls people through guilt and shame and threatened
rejection is extremely effective under many circumstances
- informal social control is like a wonder drug, free, painless and usually
- ideas of communities enforce their rules through informal punishments, shaming,
ridicule etc. - altruism and obedience is called by religions but due to increasingly secularize society,
it is much more difficult.
- social control, defined as control by society or social relations is distinct from political
control, police control, legal control.
- social control identifies society as the source of control in our lives.
- people use many informal ways to control one another, but these mainly fall within 2
- rewarding wanted behavior
- withholding rewards for unwanted behavior
- the civilizing process
- people can control one another informally
- on the other hand, people sometimes also need the power of the state to back
up their efforts to control one another
- formal and informal controls work together to bring about important social
- ‘the civilizing process’ is the linking