Sociology 626: Social Movements (Last taught Fall 2007)
This course will reviews and research on social movements, with an empirical emphasis on recent American and European movements such as the Civil Rights/Black movement, the women’s movement, and numerous “issue” movements such as nuclear power, peace, environment, neighborhood, etc. We will give some attention to movements in other countries, especially Latin America, and to developing some understanding of the ways in which movements differ between countries, with particular attention to political structures and political cultures. We will talk explicitly about the differences between movements around enduring social cleavages such as race, class, and gender and those around narrower issues. We will talk about the interrelations among movements, and how they shift across time and differ between nations.
This course generally operates from the intellectual standpoint of the activist who is concerned about an issue and wants to do something about it. This leads to an emphasis on questions of mobilization and strategy and, even for the confirmed non-activist, provides an anchor for analysis. The class outline is organized by theoretical issue, but we will weave discussions of current issues and particular movements into this outline. It is expected that about 20-25% of the class time will be devoted to discussions.