Social Movements are deigned to either bring about or prevent societal changes.
Types of Movements
These people desire to turn back changes that have occurred and return to an earlier time. An example might be the KKK – they oppose the rights that minorities have been given
These people work to prevent changes from taking place.
Example: the movement to ensure that marriage remains legal between one man and one woman only
Also known as liberal, these people desire moderate changes.
Example: Movement to legalize the use of marijuana
This type of movement is designed to bring about major change, such as a coup or the movement to legalize the use of all illegal substances
People who belong to this type of movement “dropout” of society by isolating themselves. Such groups could be religious cults or survivalist militias.
This movement is designed to help minority groups become assimilated or accepted into society. The Civil Rights movement or Women’s Lib are examples. People in these movements ask: “Why do you treat us differently. We are the same as you”.
Rather than seeking assimilation, Pluralists seek acceptance without claiming to be the same as the majority. For example, the Gay Rights movement. Members of a pluralist movement say there are more than one way to live (plural). They might say, “Yes we are different. Why should you care?”
Rather than be specific about their goals, an expressive movement tries to influence how people think and then let them decide how to act. Example:
Commit a random act of kindness.
Seek to get people to change their lifestyle. An example is the 10,000 man movement or the Million Man March.
Attempt to get people to make life-altering changes.
Types of Leaders
An intellectual leader is one whose words inspire others to act. They may or may not be actaal members of the movement but their speeches or books inspire others to take action. Examples would are Rachel Carlson, Karl Marx or Martin Luther King, Jr.
A charismatic leader has a magnetic personality. People are drawn to them. They can electrify a crowd. They are the “faces” on the news because they have celebrity status so they get the “sound-bites”. Examples are cult leaders, Adolph Hitler or Martin Luther King, Jr.
These leaders are less identifiable to the public. They work behind the scenes making decisions such as scheduling events, alerting the media, choosing a time and place for an action by the group, etc. They make the everyday kind of “nut and bolt” decisions important to the success of the movement.
Types of Followers
These people are the true “diehards” of the movement. They are willing to devote their life to the cause. They will go to jail or even give their life to the cause. They eat, breath and sleep the movement.
Examples are people suicide bombers or people who blow up abortion clinics.
Most people who belong to a movement fit into this category. They support the cause but only to a point. They aren’t willing to break the law or give their life to the cause. They will donate money, subscribe to newsletters or go to a rally, so long as it is convenient and doesn’t interfere in their other interests.
These people support a movement because they see a way to advance their own lives in some way. A celebrity who supports a popular cause or someone who can financially benefit from a movement would belong to this category. For example, someone who builds windmills would support legislation to fund alternative sources of energy.
These supporters seek excitement. They belong to a movement because it is exciting to them, not because they really support the cause.
Types of Tactics
Designed to teach people the reasons why the movement exists and why they should care about it. Posters, films, speeches, ads, etc. are used.
Working through the political system to bring about or prevent change.
Examples: support candidates for office, run for office, donate money to people running for office, write letters to congressmen, etc.
This is when social movements take matters into their own hands. They may take extreme measures such as destroying an abortion clinic, freeing animals from an experimental lab, boycotting a business that uses slave labor, etc.