Social Movements Can Be Defined As Being A General Organized Group Of People

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Social movements can be defined as being a general organized group of people who are concerned about the same general issues, and take action to affect political and/or cultural change (Staggenborg, 2). As Staggenborg (2) explains, “movements have organized to protect the environment, oppose wars, and advocate the rights of more and more groups, including workers, women, gay men and lesbians, students, disabled people, senior citizens, and many racial and ethnic groups.” Many social movements have existed in the short period of time that they have been studied, allowing society to recognize the failures and accomplishments movements have undergone. As Carroll and Ratner (6) explain social movements, they describe it, “by contesting the…show more content…
“As Melucci (1989:38) states, a defining attribute of a social movement is “the extent to which its actions challenge or break the limits of a system of social relations (Carroll and Ratner, 6).”” This paper intends to examine the articles that have been studied throughout the course, along with the textbook written by Staggenborg, and class notes from lectures, explaining the importance of social movements in society today, the history behind social movements, what has made certain movements successful, and what has been a contributor to movements who have failed. The theories that researches examine social movements with will be examined, along with the civil rights movement, women’s movement, indigenous movement, gays and lesbians movement, and the different factors that help contribute to becoming a successful movement. Social movements are known as a way of organizing social change (Staggenborg, 3). It is important to distinguish the difference between a social movement and a social movement organization (SMO), where the social movement is a general group of people who are focused on the same general issues, whereas a SMO is a specific group of people who intend to address their grievance with a specific plan (Staggenborg, 7). It is important to understand the different between the two because as Staggenborg (7) explains, “social movements
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