41 terms

AP Gov Chapter 8: Social Movements

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What is a social movement?
A loosely organized group that uses unconventional and often disruptive tactics to have their grievances heard by the public, the news/media, and government leaders
How are social movements different from interest groups?
Interest groups are long-lasting and more organized, containing permanent employees and budgets and utilize conventional and non-disruptive methods to push their issues. Social movements are whimsical and use unconventional/disruptive tactics and have no formal organization
How are social movements different form political parties?
Political parties serve the main purpose of winning elective offices for candidates under party banners and control the government and what it does over a broad range of policies. Social movements are not established nor concrete, and serve purposes other than just getting elected, but rather push for certain changes in policy/society
What is considered the most important social movement in modern times?
The Civil Rights Movement (1960s)
The five roles of social movements in American politics
- Are the political instrument of political outsiders
- Are generally grassroots phenomena
- Populated by individuals with a shared sense of grievance
- Often use unconventional and disruptive tactics
- Often turn into interest groups
How are social movements the political instrument of political outsiders?
Social movements often help people who are outside the political mainstream gain a hearing from the public and from the political decision makers --> their cause is brought to light
What is secularization?
The spread of nonreligious values and outlooks
What is a "grassroots" organization?
The most basic level of an activity or organization, typically comprised of "ordinary people"
Why are social movements typically grassroots?
Typically, outsiders that feel they have no voice in government lack the financial and political resources of more prominent people. These "ordinary people" will take advantage of what they have (numbers, energy, commitment) in order to move the general public/public officials to address the issues they bring up
Why are social movements very difficult to organize/sustain?
Because social movements tend to form when a significant number of people come to define their troubles in general social terms and feel that the government can be moved to take action on their behalf, which is a rare combination to occur
Why do social movements utilize unconventional/disruptive tactics?
These tactics help gain attention for movement grievances by drawing air time/media coverage
The Abolitionist Movement
- Social movement in the US with the objective to end slavery
-most active in the northern states 30 years before the Civil War
-Tactics included antislavery demonstrations and resistance to enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act (sometimes violent)
The Populist Movement
-Social movement made up of "disaffected farmers" in the South and the West in the 1880s-1890s
- Against the concentration of economic power in the banking and railroad industries which favored larger customers
- Their cause lead to the federal regulation of corporations (Interstate Commerce Act 1887)
Women's Suffrage Movement
- Active in late 19th, early 20th century
- Goal was to win women the right to vote
- Successful with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920
- Used deliberately disruptive and unsettling tactics
Labor Movement
-Most popular during the 1880s, 1890s, and 1930s
- Goal was to protect jobs, wages, and safe work environments for the working class people in the US
-Demanded recognition of their unions, eventually forcing the Government to recognize their right to do so and represent them in negotiations with management
Civil Rights Movement
- 1950s-1960s
- Social movement committed to nonviolent civil disobedience and mass demonstrations in order to end legal discrimination and segregation in the South
Contemporary Anti-War Movements
- Anti-Vietnam War Movement (1960s-1970s)
- Aim was the end the war in Vietnam using mass demonstrations, voting registration, and nonviolent civil disobedience

-Anti-Iraq War Movement (2003-2005)
- Committed to preventing/ending the war in Iraq following the September 11th Attacks
- Used massive demonstrations (Feb 15th 2003; 150 cities demonstrated)
Women's Movement
-1960s
- Aims to win civil rights protections for women and to broaden participation of women in all aspects of society, economy and politics
- Pushed for the Equal Rights Amendment, but failed to pass
Environmental Movement
-1970s to now
- Encourages government regulation of damaging environmental practices and to raise environmental sympathies of the public
- Has utilized violent and disruptive tactics, but depends more on legal challenges to business practices and lobbying organizations
LGBT Movement
- late 1960s to now
-Aim to gain same civil rights protections under the law as other minorities groups and gain respect from the public
- utilize lobbying, voting, mass demonstrations, and deliberately shocking actions
Religious Conservatives
- Extremely influential
- Strongly religious people trying to infuse society and public policies with conservative values on issues like abortion, school prayer, educational curriculum, and same-sex marriage
- Includes Pro-Life movement
- Formed as a response to various other social movements (counter-social movement)
Antiglobalization Movement
-Emerged late 1999; Intermittently Active
-Extremely diverse, includes people who are worried about the effects of globalization on environment, income inequality, food safety, labor rights, sweat shops, unfair trade, and national sovereignty
- Most peaceful demonstrations but some have turned violent
Undocumented Immigrants Movement
- Movement by and for illegal immigrants who wish to give legal status to those living and working in the US illegally, allow more legal immigration from Mexico, and to increase American's understanding of the positive role played by immigrants in the economy
Tea Party Movement
- Emerged in 2009
- Represents modern day angry populism directed against an active federal government that, in the followings opinion, has takes too many taxed from hard working people and saddles the country with large debts for programs to support the "undeserving poor" and illegal immigrants
Occupy Wall Street Movement
- Movement almost wholly organized through social media
- Preaches alleged economic unfairness, asserting the failure of government to do anything about diminished job prospects, stagnant wages, student loan debt, declining living standards, or rising income/wealth inequality while bailing out banks
- Movement advocated actual physical occupation of areas, remaining relatively peaceful, but some areas resisted violently when ordered to take down camps due to Health/Public Safety concerns
How do social movements make American politics more democratic?
- Encouraging participation from common people
- Allowing individuals without substantial resources to enter politics (overcoming political inequality)
- Creating new majorities (bringing enough attention to a certain cause can create a shift in focus in politics, turning a minority into a majority)
- Overcoming Constitutional limitations on change (social movements can bring enough attention to certain issues that will force politicians to act, thus bypassing all the hoops they'd have to jump through to bring issues to attention of they were to raise the concern themselves)
What is a scope of conflict?
Term coined by E.E. Schattschneider that refers to the number of groups involved in a political conflict --> narrow=small group numbers, wide=many group numbers
What is mass mobilization?
The process of involving large numbers of people in a social movement
What are the 5 factors that encourage the creation of social movements?
- Real or Perceived Distress (those organizing must feel as though they are being threatened/disrespected in some significant way)
- Availability of Resources for Mobilization (typically backed by organization or donors)
- Supportive Environment (the time must be right for the issue to be pushed --> i.e. Women's Suffrage only permitted at the turn of the century following their significant contribution to the War Effort in WWI)
- Sense of Efficacy Among Participants ("I can make a difference" attitude)
- A spark to set off the flames (i.e. Rosa Parks' refusal to give up seat on bus)
Sit-Down Strike
A form of labor action in which workers stop production but do not leave their job site
Civil Disobedience
Intentionally breaking a law and accepting the consequences as a way to publicize the unjustness of the law
Do peaceful protests always succeed?
No, although peaceful/passive protests tend to be more effective, some tactics/movements fail to strike a chord with the public
Main reasons why social movements do not succeed
- The movement's goals infringe upon American Core beliefs (Individualism, limited government, market economy)
- Movement has failed to win public attention or support (not attention grabbing enough)
- Politicians did not feel threatened or obligated to back the movement because they did not feel that their lack of support would cause them to lose votes and/or funding
What makes a social movement most likely to succeed?
- Has many supporters
- Wide public sympathy
- Movement doesn't challenge basis of economic and social orders of the country
- Has the backing of major politicians
True or False: Social movements often produce changes in government policies
True
True or False: Social movements do not try to bring about social change through collective action
False --> they do try to bring about social change through collective action
True or False: Social Movements always succeed
False: Social movements are not always successful
True or False: Social movements can serve as a tension-reliever for aggrieved groups even when major policy shifts do not occur
True
True or False: Social movements have an important effect on our political life and in determining what our government does
True
True or False: Movement ideas are often taken up by one of the major political parties as it seeks to add voters
True
True or False: Social distressed caused by economic, social, and technological change has no effect of conditions that call for the rise of social movements
False: Social distress caused by economic, social, and technological changes often creates conditions for the rise of social movements