Article

Social Movements

Michael Reisch

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0086
Social Movements

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Modern social movements have used a variety of sustained, organized, and public activities to advance their goals and to portray their members as worthy, unified, numerous, and committed to specific changes. Most social movements share several common traits. As “collective challenges based on common purposes,” they assert particular claims on society for tangible resources, recognition, and status. They consist of groups of actors who share common goals yet compete over tactics, resources, and distribution of benefits. Although they usually emerge locally, social movements eventually become established on a regional, national, or international basis and, as a result, become dependent on the support of external sponsors. Today, the term “social movement” is often mistakenly applied to all forms of collective action, even those without clear political goals. Social movements, interest groups, and parties are frequently equated. A movement’s collective action is often conflated with actions undertaken by the organizations within it; these entities are sometimes identified with the movement itself. Discussions of social movements frequently assume internal unity, overlooking their dynamic internal relationships.

Article.  24844 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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