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  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 1 / 32

    Introduction to Sociology:Concepts, Theories and Models

    Dirk Helbing and Research Team

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation

    May 27, 2008

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 1 / 32

    Chapter 12Social Movements and Social Change

    Dirk Helbingwww.soms.ethz.chdhelbing@ethz.ch

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 2 / 32

    Social Movements

    Social MovementsSocial Movementis an organized activity that encourages or discourages socialchange.

    1 Alterative social movements serve to help certain people toalter their lives.

    2 Redemptive social movements target specific people and seekradical change.

    3 Reformative social movements aim for limited social change,but target everyone.

    4 Revolutionary social movements seek the basic transformationof an entire society.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 3 / 32

    Social Movements

    Claims Making

    Claims Making

    Claims Makingis the process of trying to convince the public and public officials ofthe importance of joining a social movement to address a particularissue.

    That is, some issue has to be defined as a problem that demandspublic attention.Example: Need to take public action such as medical research andsafer sex campaigns to fight HIV and AIDS.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 4 / 32

    Social Movements

    Deprivation Theory

    Deprivation Theory

    Relative Deprivationis a perceived discadvantage arising from some specific comparison.

    The worst-off people are not necessarily the most likely to organizefor change.Example: A revolution occured first in France, where peasants hadseen improvements in their lives that made them hope for morechange. German peasants, in contrast, knew nothing else but feudalservitude at the time of the French Revolution, and they learned tolive with this situation.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 5 / 32

    Social Movements

    Mass-Society Theory

    Mass-Society Theory

    Mass-Society Theoryassumes that socially isolated people seek out social movements asa way to gain a sense of belonging and importance.

    Accordingly, social movements are most likely to arise in impersonalmass societies. Flawed people rather than a flawed society areresponsible for social movements. People who are well integratedare unlikely to seek membership in a social movement.Example: Prison inmates are more likely to protest their conditions,if programs promoting social ties among them are suspended.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 6 / 32

    Social Movements

    Structural-Strain Theory

    Structural-Strain Theory1 Social movements begin to emerge when people come to think

    their society has some serious problems (structuralconductiveness).

    2 People begin to experience relative deprivation when societyfails to meet their expectations (structural strain).

    3 Forming a well-organized social movement requires a clearstatement not only of the problem, but also of its causes andits solutions (growth and spread of an explanation).

    4 Some specific event sparks collective action when there is ahistoric opportunity (precipitating factors).

    5 A mobilization for action may cause that the rate of changebecomes faster and faster.

    6 The social movement depends on the non-intervention ofpolitical officials, police, and the military (lack of social control).

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 7 / 32

    Social Movements

    Resource-Mobilization and Culture Theory

    Resource-Mobilization and Culture TheoryResource-Mobilization TheoryThe success of a social movement depends on substantial resourcesand, therefore, often on a positive public image. It raises and fallswith how well it attracts resources, mobilizes people, and forgesalliances.

    Example: Prior to the Iraq War, two individuals using theircomputers were able to get 120,000 people in 190 countries to signa petition opposing the war. Today, in principle everybody canorganize an own movement.

    Culture TheoryMobilization depends not only on a sense of injustice, but also oncultural symbols.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 8 / 32

    Social Movements

    Political-Economy and New Social Movements Theory

    Political-Economy and New Social MovementsTheory

    Political-Economy TheoryAccording to Karl Marx, social movements arise within capitalistsocieties because the economic system and institutional structuresfail to meet the needs of the majority of people.

    New Social Movementsfocus on improving of our social and physical surrounding ( globalwarming, women and gay rights, etc.). They tend to become global(using mass media and new information technology) and to drawsupport from the middle and upper-middle classes.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 9 / 32

    Social Movements

    Theories of Social Movements

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 10 / 32

    Stages in Social Movements

    Emergence and Coalescence

    Emergence and Coalescence

    Stage I. Emergence of Social MovementsA social movement is triggered by the perception that something isnot ok.

    Stage II. CoalescenceLeaders must determine policies, decide on tactics, build morale,recruit new members, and attract the attention of the media.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 11 / 32

    Stages in Social Movements

    Bureaucratization

    Bureaucratization

    Stage III. BureaucratizationTo become a political force, a social movement must become anestablished organization. As this happens, the movement dependsless on the charisma and talents of a few leaders and relies more ona professional staff.

    However, becoming more bureaucratic can also hurt a socialmovement, when neglecting the need to keep people fired up forchange.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 12 / 32

    Stages in Social Movements

    Decline

    Reasons of DeclineStage IV: Decline

    1 The social movement may have met its goals. But winning onevictory often leads to new goals.

    2 Organizational failures, e.g. poor leadership, internal conflicts,day-to-day routine, loss of interest among members,insufficient funds, or repression by authorities.

    3 Selling out by attracting leaders by offers of money, prestige,or power from within the established system.

    4 Repression by the established system, e.g. frightening awayparticipants, discouraging new recruits, imprisoning leaders.

    5 The social movement may also go mainstream, become anaccepted part of the system rather than challenging the statusquo.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 13 / 32

    Stages in Social Movements

    Stages in the Lives of Social Movements

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 14 / 32

    Social Change

    Social Change

    Social Changeis the transformation of culture and social institutions over time.

    Cultural LagMaterial culture (technology) usually changes faster thannonmaterial culture (ideas, attitudes, and norms).

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 15 / 32

    Social Change

    Culture and Change

    Culture and Change

    Discoveryoccurs when people notice new elements of the existing world.

    Inventionproduces new objects, ideas, and social patterns.

    Diffusioncreates change as products, people, and information spread.

    Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulationhttp://www.soms.ethz.ch/

  • Introduction to Sociology Dirk Helbing and Research Team Zurich May 27, 2008 16 / 32

    Social Change

    Other Mechanisms of Change

    Other Mechanisms of Change

    Conflict and ChangeKarl Marx saw class conflict as