Social Movement Essay

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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
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Rosa Parks, a black civil rights activist who worked at the Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), pushed the black community toward a new era of freedom (Wade-Lewis 2006).
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give her bus seat to a white passenger on her way home after working the whole day in Montgomery, Alabama. According to the segregation laws, black people had to be seated at the back of the bus and Parks’ resistant attitude was the beginning of a major change for the U.S Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks’ resistance was not something unexpected; she was the symbol of a prepared, dedicated, and assiduous campaign that achieved social change through the power of movement of thousands of people (Crouteau and Hoynes 2015). Parks demonstrated that the conviction of one person can lead to the action of millions (Wade-Lewis 2006). Civil rights leaders focused on Rosa Parks’ case at Montgomery as a tactic to combat segregation. After several bus boycotts during that year, the NAACP, presided by Martin Luther King Jr., took on the legal challenge and accomplished the goal of ending segregation on Montgomery’s buses (Crouteau and Hoynes 2015). Rosa Parks not only gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement, but also promoted the Women’s Movement, the farm worker’s revolts, Chicano and Native American pride and activism (Wade-Lewis

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