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Social Movements

Social Movements

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Social Movements

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  1. Social Movements

  2. Examples • Suffrage Movement: mid-1800s to 1920 • Civil Rights Movement: 1950s-1960s (alternatively, the “long civil rights movement,” began in early 1920s) • Gay Liberation Movement: 1964 in Canada for creating a positive gay identity and employment rights • Movement for Global Justice: 1999: Battle in Seattle

  3. Definitions • “collective challenges, based on common purposes and social solidarities, in sustained interaction with elites, opponents, and authorities” (Straggenborg 2011: 5, emphasis in original). • Social movements are one form of “contentious politics,” that is, participants are typically “outsiders with regard to the established power structure” (6, emphasis in original).

  4. Types of Social MovementsHarper & Leicht (2002)

  5. Social Movement Organizations • “’a complex, or formal, organization which identifies its goals with the preferences of a social movement or a countermovement [opposed to a social movement] and attempts to implement those goals’” (Straggenborg, p. 6, quoting McCarthy and Zald) • United Mine Workers: www.umwa.org • Greenpeace: www.greenpeace.org

  6. Theories of Social Movements 1. Collective Behavior 2. Resource Mobilization 3. Political Process 4. New Social Movement

  7. Collective Behavior • Known as “strain” or “breakdown” theories. • “They typically posit that collective behavior comes about during a period of social disruption, when grievances are deeply felt, rather than being a standard part of the political process” (Staggenborg: 12-13). • Also known as the classical approach.

  8. Resource Mobilization • Social movements “seen as a continuation of the political process, albeit by disorderly means” (Staggenborg: 17). • Social movements emerge when resources are present such as: --1. moral (e.g., legitimacy) --2. cultural (e.g., tactical repertoires and strategic know-how)

  9. Resource Mobilization, cont’d • --3. social-organizational (e.g., networks) • --4. human (e.g., labor and experience of activists • --5. material (e.g., money and office space)

  10. Political Process • “social movements are most likely to emerge when potential collective actors perceive that conditions are favorable” (Staggenborg: 19). • Focus on the existence of “favorable ‘structures of political opportunity’” (Harper & Leicht: 144). • May take several forms: • “decline in the effectiveness of repression” • “effective power of political elites is undermined by internal fragmentation and disunity” • “broadening of access to institutional participation in the political process”

  11. Collective Action FramesPart of the approach of both RM and PO • Refers to the narrative structure of the movement. • CAFs are ways of “capturing the importance of meanings and ideas in stimulating protest” (Staggenborg: 20, citing Benford and Snow). • For example, We are a movement in support of local food systems to decrease our reliance on a fossil-fuel dependent industrial food chain that destroys the environment.

  12. New Social Movement • Movements seen as “reactions to the modernizing process in advanced industrial capitalist societies” (Harper & Leicht: 147).

  13. Support for this type of movement activity “is associated with ‘postmaterialist’ values, which focus on quality of life and self-expression, rather than ‘materialist’ values, which emphasize economic and physical security” (Staggenborg, p. 104 citing Inglehart 1995).

  14. Emphasizes “collective identity, which refers to the sense of shared experiences and values that connects individuals to movements and gives participants a sense of ‘collective agency’ or feeling that they can effect change through collective action” (Staggenborg: 22).

  15. Major Theories of Social MovementsStaggenborg (2011)

  16. Environmental MovementOff-shoot: Modern Food Movements • Environmental: modern movement in North America began largely as a result of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962. • “Environmental activists who came out of the protest movements of the 1960s adopted many of the direct-action tactics used by the civil rights, antiwar, and women’s movements” (e.g., protest, boycotts) (Staggenborg 2011: 102)

  17. Modern Food Movements • Organic • Back-to-land • Slow Food • Local (defined): www.attra.ncat.org