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Social Movements

 

Throughout history people with money and power have had a strong role
in determining social reality. When their definition of reality or the
norms that the powerful have established is bothersome or unfair to a
particular group of people, the oppressed may push for a change within
the social structure. When a social movement occurs a group of people
using various means of protest are trying to change or keep from
changing society. Be it a positive or free social structure, the first
element of social change is communication. By pointing out the
unjustness of the system, perceived or real, to the effected group a
subculture often forms, which organizes itself due to the negative
force of the issue. There are direct and indirect methods to changing
a social norm. Some groups use acts of violence and others resort to
civil disobedience, which changes social consiousness by introducing it
as the norm over time. The definition of society is never changed
overnight, but must be fostered by time. Even after a violent change a
construction of the new social norm needs to manifest. A very
successful social movement that comes to mind is the civil rights
movement. Not only did the blacks rebel but they also gained support
from whites as well. Martin Luther King stressed non-violent protest
which proved to be a huge element in their success. Though, much was
accomplished by the movement, unjustness is still of major issue.
Social reality constructs peoples view of the world. The elements of
that reality are usually accepted as normal and common. Sometimes new
elements of society are proposed, through laws, education, advertising
and many institutions. When a norm or proposed norm is unfair many
times people are sparked to do something about it. Protests are not
always successful, but when done on a large enough scale are able to
aware people about the issue. Thus, social movements are usually
started inorder to change or stop changes in what is accepted as social
reality.

 




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