Read this piece on social movements, my lecture, and short video
To quote sociologist, Lynda Ann Ewen, “Social movements are as American as apple pie.”
A “social movement” is a movement where the goal is to promote or prevent social change from occurring. To be considered a social movement, certain criteria needs to be met. (1) A large number of people need to be involved. (2) These people need to have a common goal in mind. (3) The people need a leader or leaders and they must be organized. (4) The group needs to sustain itself over a long period of time (and interaction does not necessarily need to be face to face.)
In sociology, we categorize social movements since they have unique characteristics that set them apart. It’s difficult, of course, to compare the civil rights movement to the pro life movement! The primary types of social movements are the reformative movement (gay rights advocates), the redemptive movement (Jehovah’s witnesses, born again Christians), the alternative movement (Alcoholics Anonymous, transcendental meditation), the resistance movements (anti-abortion groups, white supremacists) and the revolutionary movement (right wing militia groups).
There are many social movements that have occurred in our society to start or prevent change. Some movements are the Women’s movement, Gay Rights, Pro-life, Pro-choice movement, Occupy, Black Lives Matter and the environmental movement (which has 50 subgroups!)
I bet many of you have participated in a movement directly or indirectly in your life.
1) Please explain a social movement you belonged to surrounding race, gender, or social clas and how you were part of the movement. Why did you join it and how has it impacted our society?
2) If you have not been part of a movement when it comes to gender, race, and social class I would like to you to choose a social movement that you WOULD join and explain why you would be part of this social movement (and how it impacts our society.)
Remember, as I always say, choose something that you feel tied to or feel passionate about!