Social Movements

Module code: SY3092

This module will provide an analysis of social movements from a sociological and interdisciplinary perspective. You'll explore the theories and empirical developments related with the construction of protest, the contextual and internal dimensions of social movements, the evolution of collective action and the impact of social movements in society. Comparisons will be made between different types of movements and different contexts.

You'll gain the skills necessary to formulate a rigorous sociological arguments on the basis of diverse sources, and learn how to present a sociological reflection in the course of oral discussions or through group exercises. The module will also teach you how to write a clearly structured essay in order to relate and compare different theories, and to develop a critical understanding of the questions related with social movements and collective action.

Topics covered

  • Classical and modern theories on the emergence of protest and the organisation of collective action
  • The use of social networks and resources such as social media to mobilise protesters
  • The role of political institutions in shaping the ‘repertoires of collective action’
  • The construction of ideas and emotions in the course of protest
  • The emergence of cycles of protest such as the movements of the 60s or the Arab Spring
  • The emergence of new causes such as the animal rights movements, the movements for the rights of marginalised groups, or the anti-austerity movements

Learning

  • 18 one-hour lectures
  • 8 one-hour seminars
  • 124 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Essay, 4,000 words (100%)