Social Movements

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For this discussion you will examine one social movement, whether current or historical, and present what you have learned to your classmates. Once you understand the definition of a movement from your lesson and the chapter reading this week, be sure to search for additional information on the movement you have chosen. The previous page, called "Social Movement Examples" has some great videos on the gay rights movement, the environmental movement and the civil rights movement, so you can focus on these if you choose to.  I highly recommend watching the ACT-UP video in any case, because the video clearly addresses the series of questions you will seek to answer for the response to the AIDS epidemic or any other movement you choose to investigate.

You will have learned the definition of social movements offered in Chapter 8 of our textbook. Greenberg-Page provide an overview of the most important social movements in U.S. history. To present information on a social movement, you should be able to discuss:

  • What are the goals of the movement?
  • What are the tactics used?
  • Was the movement successful?  Why or why not?

You could also look for this information in your research:

  • Who participates?
  • How is the movement organized and what are some of the interest groups participating in the movement?
  • Who are some of the movement leaders?
  • What resources are available to the movement?


Depending on whether you are researching a historical movement or a current movement, you will need to consult different sources.  There is a lag time in the publication of academic articles, so if you are looking for current information, you will need to look to movement participants, investigative reporters or perhaps interest groups participating in a movement. 

One good source is DemocracyNow!.org.  If you type the subject in their search engine, you will see many of the important leaders of the movement have been interviewed.

Similarly, the British newspaper, The Guardian, carries many stories about current movement and they have no paywall as many U.S. newspapers do.



  1. Use the following questions below to help you formulate your ideas in a 2-3 paragraph post. Your posts should be in your own words, well-organized and written in full sentences. Please don’t simply just answer the questions – try to create paragraphs with topic sentences and clear points to support your opinion!
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