Social Movements And The Power Of Social Change Essay

1656 Words Nov 8th, 2015 null Page
Social Movements and the Power of Social Change
Social movements are organized, collective efforts to promote or resist change by powerless people who are committed in an extrainstitutional action (Crouteau and Hoynes 2015). What distinguishes social movements from other forms of social and political action is that social movements are mobilized by a large group of people who lack access to common forms of power. These people use organized and ongoing extrainstitutional tactics, such as boycotts or nonviolent street demonstrations, in order to either promote or resist change (Crouteau and Hoynes 2015). There is a common misunderstanding surrounding social movements. Society often believes that ordinary people who want to make a change in order to contribute to or oppose a cause, have little power compared to the people or social structures that resist the movement efforts. However, these ordinary people work together to achieve the same purpose. Thus, these people have the power to promote change even when others oppose it. Social movements are powerful because of the strength that individuals working collectively can achieve by pushing for the same change (Crouteau and Hoynes 2015).
Before 1954, racial segregation in the United States was widely prevalent. White people received more opportunities and privileges than black people. Additionally, black people were not given the same kind of rights as white people and received racial discrimination, such as different roles…

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