Social Movements: Origin, Meaning, Definition, Features and Natures of Social Movement

 Social Movements: Origin, Meaning, Definition, Features and Natures of Social Movement

The term ''social movement'' is a contested concept. Social movements are widespread in nature. It shapes the functioning of a state and also brings a sense accountability responsibility and obligation to the State. In contemporary world social movements are found in all states. There are no all around acknowledged meanings of social movement. Some social researcher utilize this term to indicate certain activities undertaken by one or numerous associations that aims at bringing newness or change in society. Some also utilize this term to refer to the revolutionary Changes like modernization, urbanization and so forth. 

Origin of social movement: 

The term social development can be traced back to late eighteenth century when people started  engaging themselves with activities that aims at social financial and political empowerment.

Definition of social movements:

According to Lorenz Von Stein, social movements are dynamic forces in society which emerge against the state.
According to Andre Gunder Frank, there is a distinction between Political movement and social movement. Social Movement does not strive for State Power. It seeks more autonomy not state power. According to him objective of social movement is social transformation. The participant mobilizes for Social Justice.

Meaning Of social movements:

Social developments are from of aggregate activity that rises as a reaction to imbalance, unfairness,inequality, injustice, abuses and financial culture and political demands.

Elements that prompted the development of social developments: 

  1. Procedure of democratization 
  2. Spread of literacy, training and education
  3. Development of industrialization 
  4. Improvement of information and communication technologies
  5. Development of free press and NGOs 
  6. Features of social movement:
  7. Collective activity paves the way of social movement.
  8. Social movements are Coordinated towards financial and political change. 

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Constitutional and non constitutional nature of social movement:

Social movements pursue constitutional as well as non or extra constitutional way. Non constitutional way refers to the  direct action against the state to bring about political change. On the other hand Constitutional way refers to the action that is allowed by laws and widely acknowledge as the part of a society at a given part of time. Such action incorporates petitioning, voting in election, fighting legal battle in the court etc. The line between these two is very blurred. Non constitutional action can take several from such as strike, riot  protest, agitation etc.

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Conditions for an effective social movement: 

Skilled and strategically oriented leadership

Leader assumes a critical role in articulations of belief system and in planning strategies for action. Social Movement requires  active participation of individuals which is ensured by the leader. 

A hierarchical structure: 

Social developments require certain associations that act as a centralized or decentralized decision making framework.

Long term objectives: 

Social Movements gives priority to certain  projects over others and focus on a specific way of action that includes a set of Ideas, suggestions and values that is capable of perceiving  social relation, and to shape philosophy for the accomplishment of collective goals.

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