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Chapter 13

SOC101Y1 Chapter 13: Week 13 Reading: Social Movements

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University of Toronto St. George
Christian O.Caron

Social Movement: organized activity that encourages or discourages social change - At its hearts, social movements are about an issue, big or small, and seeking encourage or discourage change in regards to the issue - Broader the issue, the bigger the social movement, the more defined the issue, the smaller the social movement - Most important types of collective behaviour because they often have lasting effects on the shape of society - Social movements are common in the modern world but pre-industrial societies are tightly bound by tradition, making social movements are extremely rare Workers Right Movement: work conditions, child labour, minimum wage - Late 19th century Women’s Right Movement: right to vote 1919 Civil Rights Movement: march on Washington 1963 Gay Rights Movement: Toronto Pride Parade Collective Behaviours: voluntary, often spontaneous activity that is engaged in by a large number of people and typically violated dominant group norms and values - Three centuries ago, social movements typically were small, localized, and violent - Subsequently growth of the state led to changes in social movements, including: - Growing in size: partly due to increased literacy, modes of communication, and densely populated social settings - Civil Disobedience: seeks to change policy or law by refusing to comply with it - Becoming less violent: size and organization often allowed movements to become sufficiently powerful to get their way without frequently resorting to extreme measures - Routine Collectives: actions tend to be nonviolent and follow established patterns of behaviour in bureaucratic social structures - Non-Routine Collectives: actions tend to be short-lived and sometimes violent (mob, riot, panic) - Mob: highly emotional crowd whose members engage in, violence against a specific target, which can be a person, category of people, or physical property - Riot: violent crowd behaviour that is fuelled by deep-seated emotions but not direct at one specific target - Panic: when large numbers of people react to a real or perceived threat with strong emotions and self-destructive behaviour Four Stages to Expand Rights: 1. Civil Citizenship: (18th century) - struggle for right to free speech, freedom of religion, and justice before the law 2. Political Citizenship: (19th- early 20th) - Struggle for the right to vote and run for office 3. Social Citizenship: (mid 20th) - Struggle for right to certain level of economic security and full participation in social life of country 4. Universal Citizenship: (last third of 20th) - Struggle to recognize right of marginal groups to full citizenship and rights of humanity as a whole Alternative Social Movements: they are least threatening to the status quo because they seek limited change in only some narrow segment of the population - Specific individuals, specific changes Redemptive (Religious) Social Movement: selective focus, but they seek radical change in those they engage (ie. AAA) - Specific individuals, total change Reformative Social Movements: generally work within the existing political system, seek only limited social change - Can be progressive (promoting new social patterns) or reactionary (counter-movements trying to preserve the status quo or to return to past social patterns - Everyone, specific change Revolutionary Social Movement: most extreme as they seek basic transformation of a society - Rejects existing social institutions as flawed while promoting radically new alternatives - Terrorism: serious acts of violence, planned and executed clandestinely and committed to achieve political ends - Everyone, total change Resistance Movement: seek to prevent or undo the change that has already occurred Claims Making: the process of trying to convince the public and the public officials of the importance of joining social movements to address a particular issue - Issue has to be defined as a problem that demands public attention - If mass media gives the issue attention and public officials speak out on behalf of the problem, the social movement gains strength Frame Alignment: recruitment of new members or gaining support from a wider public - Reaching Out: to other organizations believe to contain people sympathetic to their movement’s cause - Stressing Popular Values: in common with movement Theory of Crowd Behaviour Contagion Theory: attempts to explain h
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