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4 Tutorials that teach Social Movements
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Social Movements

Social Movements

Description:

Define David Aberle's social movement and explain the goals of the four different types. alternative social movement, redemptive social movement, reformative social movement, revolutionary social movement. Be sure to discuss Social Change. Suggested: from Minnesota!

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This tutorial will cover the topic of social movements, through the definition and discussion of:

  1. Types of Social Movements

1. TYPES OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Social movements can be categorized by two measures:

  • How much change are they seeking? Are they seeking big, massive changes in society, or little changes?
  • Who is changed? Who is the change directed at? Is it directed at trying to change individuals, or is it trying to change everyone, society as a whole?

You can use a typology, like the example below, developed by Aberle, to plot, or typologize, the different social movements:

Therefore, the lower right corner represents big changes for society as a whole, while the upper left corner categorizes little changes directed at individuals. Refer to the typology below to explore the goals of some specific social movements.

1. Alterative Social Movements

An alterative social movement is a social movement aimed at small changes for a small number of people.

ExampleMothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, is an example of an alterative social movement. They are seeking specific, limited change for individuals, by trying to get individuals to make changes and not to drive drunk. This is a specific, limited kind of social change directed at individuals, and it's not taking on big structures--it's micro-focused.

Term to Know

    • Alterative Social Movement
    • A social movement aimed at small change for a small number of people (i.e. Mother's Against Drunk Driving, or MADD).

2. Redemptive Social Movements

This is a social movement aimed at big changes in a small number of people.

Example Alcoholics Anonymous is an example of a redemptive social movement. If you've ever known anybody that's gone through this alcohol treatment or drug treatment, you know that they're making huge changes in their lives. They’re atoning for past sins and redeeming themselves, which is how this movement gets its name. A redemptive social movement is usually aimed at redeeming some past damage.

Therefore, in the typology above, it falls under big changes for individuals, or a small number of people.

Term to Know

    • Redemptive Social Movement
    • A social movement aimed at big change in a small number of people (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous).

3. Reformative Social Movements

This type of social movement represents small changes for a big number of people.

Example The environmental movement is a reformative social movement. In its current stage, it aims for everyone to make small changes, like recycling, reducing their carbon emissions, carrying reusable bags, eating local food, etc.

A reformative movement pushes for little changes for everyone, in order to produce a cumulative big result.

Term to Know

    • Reformative Social Movement
    • A social movement aimed at small changes for a large number of people, or for society as a whole (i.e. the environmental movement).

4. Revolutionary Social Movements

A revolutionary social movement asks for big changes for society as a whole--a massive overthrow, or a revolution. If, for instance, society transitions out of capitalism and there is a socialist revolution, this would mean big changes for everybody. Conversely, after the Berlin Wall fell, a group of former Soviet countries made the transition to capitalism, which translated to big changes for everybody.

Term to Know

    • Revolutionary Social Movement
    • A social movement aimed at big changes for everyone in society (i.e. a socialist revolution.)

Summary

Today you used Aberle's typology of social movements to typologize several types of social movements based on what kind of changes they were seeking--society-based changes or individual-based changes--and how much change they were asking of either society or individuals.

Good luck!

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author Zach Lamb.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Alterative Social Movement

    A social movement aimed at small change for a small number of people (i.e. Mother's Against Drunk Driving, or MADD).

  • Redemptive Social Movement

    A social movement aimed at big change in a small number of people (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous).

  • Reformative Social Movement

    A social movement aimed at small changes for a large number of people, or for society as a whole (i.e. the environmental movement).

  • Revolutionary Social Movement

    A social movement aimed at big changes for everyone in society (i.e. a socialist revolution.)