Social Movements Chapter Eight
What Are Social Movements? • Social Movements- Loosely organized collections of ordinary people. • Social Movements are the Political Instrument of Political Outsiders • Social Movements are Generally Mass Grassroots Phenomena • Social Movements are Populated by Individuals with a Shared Sense of Grievance • Social Movements often use Unconventional and Disruptive Tactics • Social Movements often turn into Interest Groups
Major Social Movements in the United States • The Abolitionists • The Populists • Women’s Suffrage • The Labor Movement • The Civil Rights Movement • Contemporary Antiwar Movements • The Women’s Movement (ERA) • The Environmental Movement • The Gay and Lesbian Movements • Religious Conservatives • The Anti-Globalization Movement • Undocumented Immigrants Movement • Tea Party Movement
How Social Movements make U.S. Politics More Democratic • Encouraging Participation • Scope of Conflict- Making politics more visible. • Overcoming Political Inequality • Mass Mobilization- The ability of those without resources to disrupt the status quo by mobilizing people to take to the streets to voice their demands. • Creating new Majorities • Overcoming Constitutional Limitations on Change
Factors That Encourage the Creation of Social Movements • Real or Perceived Distress • Availability of Resources for Mobilization • Leaders • Institutions • Infrastructure • Money • A Supportive Environment- The times must be right! A degree of support and tolerance must exist among the public and societies leaders. Support among the elites is important. • A Sense of Political Efficacy Among Participants- People must believe that their actions can make a difference. • A Spark to Set Off the Flames- some dramatic, precipitating event to set the movement in motion
Tactics of Social Movements • Sit-Down Strike • Civil Disobedience • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. • Mahatma Gandhi • Are civil disobedience and other disruptive tactics appropriate in a democracy?
What Makes Social Movements Successful? • Proximity of the Movement’s Goals to American Values • The Movement’s Capacity to Win Public Attention and Support • The Movement’s Ability to Affect the Political Fortunes of Elected Leaders
Some Social Movements Succeed and Others Do Not • Low-Impact Social Movements • Poor People’s Movement • ERA Movement • Repressed Social Movements- Social movements committed to such radical change that it threatens the widely shared values and interests of the society. • Partially Successful Social Movements • Pro-Life Movement • Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement • Successful Social Movements • Civil Rights Movement