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Analysis Of Herbert Blumer 's Social Movement

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Herbert Blumer describes social movements as “…collective enterprises to establish a new order of life. They have their inception in the condition of unrest, and derive their motive power on one hand from dissatisfaction with the current form of life, and on the other hand, from wishes and hopes for a new scheme or system of living.” (Blumer, 1939, p. 199). Social groups partake in a movement in order to implement change through the use of protests and community involvement to share their goal. Particularly, participants of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc,) movement strive to gain equality and acceptance for people of all genders and sexual orientations in modern day society while ending discrimination against…show more content…
Classical conditioning is the pairing of an unconditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus in order to elicit a conditioned response (Alexanderson, 2016). In the case of the LGBT+ rights movement, supporters may learn to pair the conditioned stimulus of LGBT+ pride symbols, such as the rainbow flag, with a conditioned response of enthusiasm. For example, at the 2016 New York pride parade there were accounts of supporters donning merchandise, such as T-shirts, with the popular symbol (Wickman, 2013). When participants of the social movement attend an event such as a protest or a parade, such as the New York City Pride March, they are likely to observe the enthusiasm of the crowds around them (Levy, 2015). The enthusiasm of the crowd acts as an unconditioned stimulus that causes individual enthusiasm to increase. An individual’s predominant inclination will be enhanced in a group with similar inclinations due to the phenomenon of group polarization (Alexanderson, 2016). In this case, participants of a parade for gay pride will have enhanced enthusiasm in addition their already-present enthusiasm. When this enthusiasm is paired with an iconic gay rights symbol, such as the rainbow flag, it becomes a conditioned stimulus able to elicit a conditioned response of enthusiasm on it’s own. Since the 1970s, the rainbow flag has been symbolic of the LGBT+ movement and serves to empower and unify participants, partially because of its
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