SOCI-155 Social Movements
Spring for 2017-2018
This course will examine social movements as planned and fairly prolonged mass attempts against the established socio-political systems. They are organized efforts to promote social change, at least in part, through non-institutionalized forms of political action. The major goals of the course are: 1) to acquaint students with major concepts, theories, and paradigms on social movements. Some of the major theories include strain, Marxist, resource mobilization, political process, and “cultural” explanations; 2) to examine significant sociological variables of class, gender, race/ethnicity, age, ideology, and religion within social movements; 3) to analyze the formation process and impact of a number of post-World War II era movements in the U.S., such as the Civil Rights, Women’s Liberation, Student and the New Left, the Christian Right, and more recently sporadic “anti-globalization” movement; 4) in addition, some cases in the developing world will be examined to familiarize students with various sociopolitical contexts (and their impact on movement formation). In particular, we look at movements of national liberation, Islamic revivalism in some Middle Eastern countries and the emerging pro-democracy movements.
SOCI-155-01 Social Movements
Spring for 2017-2018
Social movements aim to bring people together to change their society, whether on a small scale (such as a local campaign to clean up a river) or a large scale (such as a revolution). They include cultural goals (changing how people think about gay marriage) as well as political goals (getting a piece of legislation passed), and often both (the Civil Rights movement). Along the way, social movements have to struggle with finding a goal that people want to work towards, member recruitment and retention, the mobilization of resources for their cause, and often they have to work within repressive political systems that impose harsh consequences for social activism. In this course we will examine the major theoretical approaches to studying national and global social movements. We will apply these lenses to specific cases in the news today, which may include the Arab spring, the Tea Party, marriage equality, immigration reform, the Occupy movement, or other current movements. We will also examine classic cases from history, such as the Russian Revolution, the U.S. Civil Rights movement, Solidarity in Poland, and the anti-globalization movement. The major assignments for the course are components of a case study of a social movement, which will be broken down into smaller assignments including audio/visual documentation, analysis of primary source materials, a written analysis applying social movement theory to the case, and an in-class presentation. Classes will consist mainly of lectures, with some films and at least one required field trip.
Other academic years
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