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social movement

Definition of Social Movement

(noun) A collective action by a group of people with a shared or collective identity based on a set of beliefs and opinions that intend to change or maintain some aspect of the social order.

Types of Social Movement

Social Movement Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈsoʊʃ(ə)l ˈmuvm(ə)nt/
    • British English
      • /ˈsəʊʃl ˈmuːvm(ə)nt/
  • Syllabification: (so·cial move·ment)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: social movements
  • Social movements are studied in social movement theory.
  • A social movement organization (SMO) is a formal component of a larger social movement, such as Greenpeace, a SMO in the environmentalism movement.
  • A social movement industry exists when several SMOs work independently or together for similar purposes, such Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which all advocate for the environment.
  • The combination of all SMOs regardless of objectives is the social movement sector.
  • A “call to action” in a social movement is called motivational framing.
  • Also called:
    • front
    • movement

Related Quotations

  • “These days, most of use take birth control for granted. But that’s only because feminists fought so hard for it since the beginning of the last century. Margaret Sanger, one of the pioneers of the birth control movement, was arrested for passing out a leaflet that told women how to limit—as if mere knowledge of birth control was a threat to the status quo, which perhaps it was” (Kaufman and Kimmel 2011:18)!
  • Feminism is a social movement that seeks equality of opportunity for all people, regardless of gender. When there isn’t equality of outcome, feminism wants to know why. It is a political perspective that uses gender to critically analyze power—who has it, who doesn’t, who abuses it, and why” (Tarrant 2009:3).

Additional Information

Related Terms


References

Kaufman, Michael, and Michael S. Kimmel. 2011. The Guy’s Guide to Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.

Tarrant, Shira. 2009. Men and Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.

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Cite the Definition of Social Movement

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “social movement.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 13, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/social-movement/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

social movement. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/social-movement/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “social movement.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 13, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/social-movement/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“social movement.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/social-movement/>.