UPSC SOCIOLOGY Syllabus :
Paper 1 – Chapter 6 – Politics and Society:
(a) Sociological theories of power
(b) Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.
(c) Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
(d) Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.
- A social movement is the mobilization of large numbers of people to work together to deal with a social problem.
- It is a persistent and organized effort to either bring about what participants believe to be beneficial social change or in some cases resist or reverse change viewed as harmful.
THEORIES ON SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
- Theories about why social movements occur include absolute deprivation theory,relative deprivation theory, resource mobili- zation theory, political opportunities theory, leadership theory, framing theory, and multifactor theory.
STAGES OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
- Social movements addressing social problems can go through a series of stages, including incipience, coalescence, institutionalization, fragmentation, demise, and possibly revival.
LEADERSHIP IN SOCIAL MOVEMENT
- Leadership (and leadership development) are key mechanisms by which people transform the individual resources they have into the collective power they need to get what they want.
- Leadership is thus central to movement efficacy at individual, communal, and institutional levels. Indeed, the most significant measure of social movement “impact” may be less in the accomplishment of short-term campaign outcomes than in the long-term development of the leadership and collective capacity required to achieve institutional change.
- Leaders are important for movements because they help clarify the issues and shape the movement.
- It is the leaders who provide guidance and direction to a movement.
- They prevent it from becoming a desperate, unruly collection of people.
- A movement can degenerate into a mob if it does not have a leader or a group of leaders guiding it.
IDEOLOGY IN SOCIAL MOVEMENT
- Ideology is often an implicit and assumed feature of movements.
- Without an ideology that articulates and identifies a mobilization’s beliefs and goals, it would be difficult to speak of this as a movement at all.
- Rather, collective action without ideology would appear disorganized and temporary. In contrast, movements are generally held to be relatively organized and relatively sustained over a period of time.
- Ideology can be one such feature of organization and a marker of sustained collective action.
- According to M S A Rao, it is one of the three most crucial aspects of a social movement, other two being collective mobilization and orientation for change.
- Ideology is reflected in various themes of movements like – rejection of religious identity, class conflict, millenarian themes etc.
Social movements are a major vehicle for ordinary people’s participation in public politics. Social movements have a life cycle: they are created, they grow, they achieve successes or failures and eventually, they dissolve and cease to exist. Blumer, Mauss, and Tilly described how social movements follow a process by which they emerge, coalesce, and bureaucratize, leading to their success or failure.