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  • Demonstrate awareness of social movements on a state, national, and global level
  • Distinguish between different types of social movements
  • Identify stages of social movements
  • Discuss theoretical perspectives on social movements, like resource mobilization, framing, and new social movement theory

Social movements are purposeful, organized groups that strive to work toward a common social goal. While most of us learned about social movements in history classes, we tend to take for granted the fundamental changes they caused —and we may be completely unfamiliar with the trend toward global social movements. But from the antitobacco movement that has worked to outlaw smoking in public buildings and raise the cost of cigarettes, to political uprisings throughout the Arab world, movements are creating social change on a global scale.

Levels of social movements

Movements happen in our towns, in our nation, and around the world. Let’s take a look at examples of social movements, from local to global. No doubt you can think of others on all of these levels, especially since modern technology has allowed us a near-constant stream of information about the quest for social change around the world.

Local

Chicago is a city of highs and lows, from corrupt politicians and failing schools to innovative education programs and a thriving arts scene. Not surprisingly, it has been home to a number of social movements over time. Currently, AREA Chicago is a social movement focused on “building a socially just city” (AREA Chicago 2011). The organization seeks to “create relationships and sustain community through art, research, education, and activism” (AREA Chicago 2011). The movement offers online tools like the Radicalendar––a calendar for getting radical and connected––and events such as an alternative to the traditional Independence Day picnic. Through its offerings, AREA Chicago gives local residents a chance to engage in a movement to help build a socially just city.

State

The Texas state flag is shown here.
Texas Secede! is an organization which would like Texas to secede from the United States. (Photo courtesy of Tim Pearce/flickr)

At the other end of the political spectrum from AREA Chicago is the Texas Secede! social movement in Texas. This statewide organization promotes the idea that Texas can and should secede from the United States to become an independent republic. The organization, which as of 2014 has over 6,000 “likes” on Facebook, references both Texas and national history in promoting secession. The movement encourages Texans to return to their rugged and individualistic roots, and to stand up to what proponents believe is the theft of their rights and property by the U.S. government (Texas Secede! 2009).

National

A polarizing national issue that has helped spawn many activist groups is gay marriage. While the legal battle is being played out state by state, the issue is a national one.

The Human Rights Campaign, a nationwide organization that advocates for LGBT civil rights, has been active for over thirty years and claims more than a million members. One focus of the organization is its Americans for Marriage Equality campaign. Using public celebrities such as athletes, musicians, and political figures, it seeks to engage the public in the issue of equal rights under the law. The campaign raises awareness of the over 1,100 different rights, benefits, and protections provided on the basis of marital status under federal law and seeks to educate the public about why these protections should be available to all committed couples regardless of gender (Human Rights Campaign 2014).

Questions & Answers

types of cultures and it definations
Umar Reply
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Glenn Reply
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Cavs
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Abel Reply
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LAKEM
human resources manager
Shiikaa
can you think of people in your own life who support or defy the premise that access to technology leads to greater opportunities? how have you noticed technology use and opportunity to be linked,or does your experience contradicts this idea?
Swiftix Reply
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Cavs
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Cavs
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Ritu Reply
role of culture in socialization
Malak Reply
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YAKUBU Reply
sociology is the study of human behavior
Hashim
sociology is the scientific study of man and society
USMAN
sociology is the study of people behaviours who are interaction in different cultures and groups
Cavs
ethno methodology
USMAN
ethnomethodology and symbolic interaction are good inquiry but it's micro level studying, it's overlook grand theories.
Cavs
cultural diffusion
USMAN
what is the difference between social science and social dicpline
AREN Reply
what is social transformation?
Shraddha Reply
Social transformation is a somewhat ambiguous term that has two broad definitions. One definition of social transformation is the process by which an individual alters the socially ascribed social status of their parents into a socially achieved status for themselves.
Taniza
social change in a consumer society
Sarah Reply
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puneet
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Ambrish
consumers shifted from need based purchasing to want based purchasing
sumitra
guys can anyone please explain a well definition and meaning of gender in 30 to 35 words.... please guys its really urgent for me to find a well de...
Ritu
type of sociology and character
Mawien Reply
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Delsila Reply
Karl Marx
Chima
Auguste comte
Chima
August comte
HUSSAINI
Cultural sanctions can also be viewed as ways that society
Khaketla Reply
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Khaketla
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Khaketla Reply
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sumitra
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tridy
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sumitra
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Chang
guys can anyone please explain a well definition and meaning of gender in 30 to 35 words.... please guys its really urgent for me to find a well de...
Ritu
Gender is not a "sex". it's determined by referring values people who is live in different societies, by other people.
Cavs
can someone give an example of what is sociology?
Swiftix Reply
one instance, sociology is a comparison between communities whose cultures, religions and other differences etc
Cavs
Sociology is a academic discipline that tend to give causal explanations of causes and effects of social phenomenon
HUSSAINI

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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