The Civil Rights Movement in the United States

1401 Words6 Pages
Social movements are one of the primary means through which the public is able to collectively express their concerns about the rights and wellbeing of themselves and others. Under the proper conditions, social movements not only shed light on issues and open large scale public discourse, but they can also serve as a means of eliciting expedited societal change and progress. Due to their potential impact, studying the characteristics of both failed and successful social movements is important in order to ensure that issues between the public and the government are resolved to limit injustices and maintain societal progress. Social movements are not spontaneous events, and they must build towards their goals over time on a series of phases and preconditions. Successful social movements rely on a number of micro and macro factors including efficient organizational structures, the ability to mobilize human and material resources, as well as effective leadership and rapid diffusion of ideas. As it will be shown, the presence of mobilizing structures, movement frames as well as suitable political opportunities combined with reactionary incentives during the Civil Rights Movement helped culminate both short and long term societal changes. The Civil Rights Movement is oftentimes regarded as the largest social movement of the 20th century. This mass popular movement, which peaked in the 1950’s and 1960’s, helped African Americans gain access to more basic privileges,
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