Sociology Index

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Social Movements

What are Social Movements? The Sociology of Social Movements. Sociologists have viewed social movements using a number of different perspectives. Social movements are a response to social strain, and as a reflection of trends and directions throughout the society. Social movements are a reflection of individual dissatisfaction and feelings of deprivation. Social movements are organized and sustained activities that have a clear goal in terms of achieving or preventing social change. Sociological interpretations of social movements will help bring larger theoretical questions to bear on empirical evidence. Social problems are generally characterized by the traits of specific social movements. General social movements consist of vague goals or objectives and lack organization, leadership, and structure. Specific social movements usually grows out of a general movement as the latter grows out of a cultural drift. Astroturfing is advocacy in support of a political or corporate agenda appearing as a "grassroots" social movement. Herbert Blumer set forth a typology of social movements.

Norm-oriented Social Movements

Norm-oriented social movements are content to leave the underlying culture and organization of a society pretty much intact, striving only for changes in some of the social arrangements, rules, norms, laws, and other less fundamental aspects. Most social problems are of the norm-oriented type and only very rarely value-oriented, for they do not typically address the basis of the culture itself.

Value-oriented Social Movements

Value-oriented social movements include many of the movements called by Blumer expressive and nationalist, many of the religious movements of history, and probably all of the movements based on the great 'isms' such as Communism, Fascism, millenarianism which attempt to reorder entire ways of life. Feminist research demonstrates that gender is an explanatory factor in the emergence of all social movements. The role that social movements play in the social construction of gender. An examination of the environmental movement in the United States shows that sustainable social movements will combine efforts at legal change with efforts to change underlying social values. The relationship between social movements and demands for universal health care is a critical one.

The American Social Movement Cultures (Washington State).
This site seeks to bring together the best insights of sociology, political science, anthropology, history, cultural studies, American studies, ethnic studies, women's studies, as well as the insights of social movement activists inside and outside of academia.

Social Movements Abstracts

A Durkheimian Theory of Social Movements - Segre, Sandro. This essay formulates a Durkheimian rational choice theory and network theory of social movements. This theory may account for the different outcomes of the Civil Rights movement in the US and Social Democracy in Imperial Germany.

Sovereignty, globalization and transnational social movements - Raimo Väyrynen.
Economic globalization is associated with the liberalization of the world economy. States and their sovereignty are not disappearing, but they cannot exercise their agentive power as effectively as before.

Historical Social Movements, Ecological Crisis and Other World Views
Sing C. Chew. Bioregionalism is a direct contrast to our world-view that underscores the themes of globalization, technologization of life and hyper consumption.

Gender And Social Movements - Gender Processes in Women's Self-Help Movements , VERTA TAYLOR - Ohio State University.

How Have Recent Social Movements Shaped Civil Rights Legislation for Women? The 1994 Violence Against Women Act by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Suzanne Lustig. This project focuses on the civil rights provisions which gave women victims of violence access to federal courts.

Social Movements as Catalysts for Policy Change: The Case of Smoking and Guns - Constance A. Nathanson - Johns Hopkins - Identifies social movement ideologies and actions.

Social Movements, Law, and Society: The Institutionalization of the Environmental Movement
Cary Coglianese - University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment
Robert D. Benford - University of Nebraska, David A. Snow - University of Arizona
How collective action frames have been conceptualized.



Social Movements Research and the Movement of Movements: Studying Resistance to Neoliberal Globalization - By Laurence Cox and Alf Gunvald Nilsen, National University of Ireland. Explores research on the ‘movement of movements’ against neoliberal globalization.

NGOs, Social Movements, External Funding and Dependency - Fernand Vincent
Issues related to the financing sources and how they relate to the autonomy of NGOs.

Social Movements: An Analytical Exploration of Organizational Forms - Russell L. Curtis, Jr., Louis A. Zurcher, Jr.
A review of the literature on social movement organizations.

DEMOCRATISATION AND THE DECLINE OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: THE EFFECTS OF REGIME CHANGE ON COLLECTIVE ACTION IN EASTERN EUROPE, SOUTHERN EUROPE AND LATIN AMERICA - CHRISTOPHER G. PICKVANCE - Urban and Regional Studies Unit, University of Kent. Explores how regime change affects social movements, drawing on studies of Latin America, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe.

What Are Social Movements and What Is Gendered About Women's Participation in Social Movements? A Sociological Perspective - by Benita Roth and Marian Horan.

Health care reform and social movements in the United States. Hoffman B. - Northern Illinois University

URBAN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND THE TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY IN PORTUGAL, 1974-1976 - PEDRO RAMOS PINTO, University of Manchester. The impact of the urban social movement active in Lisbon on the Portuguese transition to democracy.

From Wollstonecraft to Mill: What British and European Ideas and Social Movements Influenced the Emergence of Feminism in the Atlantic World, 1792-1869? Nancy Hewitt, revised by Kitty Sklar.

How Did Oberlin Women Students Draw on Their College Experience to Participate in Antebellum Social Movements, 1831-1861? by Professor Carol Lasser and Oberlin College Students. The female students at Oberlin embraced their gendered responsibilites for domestic virtue. Female students in the antebellum era drew on their college experience to participate in local as well as national social movements.

How Did Sarah Bagley Contribute to the Ten-Hour Movement in Lowell and How Did Her Labor Activism Flow into Other Reform Social Movements, 1836-1870? - by Teresa Murphy and Thomas Dublin. Sarah Bagley campaigned tirelessly to make ten hours of labor per day the maximum in Massachusetts.

How Did Diverse Activists in the Second Wave of the Women's Social Movement Shape Emerging Public Policy on Sexual Harassment? by Carrie N. Baker. The organized women's social movement began to raise awareness about sexual harassment.

Books On Social Movements

The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts. by Jeff Goodwin, James M. Jasper.
This reader makes organizing an engaging course on social movements easy. Provides answers to nine major questions on social movements. In the study of social movements, this volume is valuable addition

Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action. Book by Mario Diani, Doug McAdam (Editors) - Leading social movement researchers map the full range of applications of network concepts and tools to their field of inquiry.

Power, Resistance and Conflict in the Contemporary World: Social Movements, Networks and Hierarchies. by Athina Karatzogianni and Andrew Robinson. Examines the operation of network forms of organization in social resistance movements, in relation to the integration of the world system, the intersection of networks and the possibility of social transformation.

Social Movements in China and Hong Kong: The Expansion of Protest Space by Gilles Guiheux and Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce.
That specific protest actions taking place on the mainland and in Hong Kong have enabled both societies to expand their protest space.

Social Movements: An Introduction. Book by Donatella Della Porta, Mario Diani
The students' and workers' protests of the 1960s have been followed by movements on women's rights, ethnic identities, peace and environmental issues.

The Politics of Protest : Social Movements in America. Book by David S. Meyer
The book addresses such topics as Dorothy Day's Catholic Workers' protest, the Greensboro civil rights sit-in in 1960, and the "Battle in Seattle" anti-globalization rally.

Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action. Book by Mario Diani, Doug McAdam - Leading social movement researchers map the full range of applications of network concepts and tools to their field of inquiry.

Power in Movement : Social Movements and Contentious Politics. Book by Sidney Tarrow, Peter Lange, Robert H. Bates, Ellen Comisso, Peter Hall, Joel Migdal, Helen Milner. The book emphasizes the rise and fall of social movements as part of political struggle and as the outcome of changes in political opportunity structure.

Social Movements in Advanced Capitalism: The Political Economy and Cultural Construction of Social Activism - Steven M. Buechler. Building on a critical overview of current social movement theory, this book presents a structural model for analyzing social movements in advanced capitalism.

Social Movement Theory and Research. - Roberta Garner.
Reviews and explores social movement theory from the end of World War II to the mid-1990s.

Social Movements and Social Classes : The Future of Collective Action - Book by Louis Maheu. An original contribution to the understanding of social movements, social classes, and collective action.