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Posted on October 12th, 2012, by

Social movements changes not only society. They will transform cultures and make the people’s minds different, adjoining with them.

Their influence far not always obviously, and the purpose of this work was to describe social movement theory and stop on several of them in details. The offered theorizing is united by a few disciplines – foremost, sociology of public movements and cognitive anthropology, which, as possible to hope, will bring in future a joint contribution to the study of this problem.

Sociology of social movement, as well as other areas which are studied by this science, is closely related to the general social theories. Such connection is mutual. At first, any researches of social movements suppose certain appearance of society. Secondly, the results of similar researches bring in the contribution to one pictures of society and other undermine. By other words, different general social theories are formed by different looks to social movements, and vice versa, but the last researches greatly influence on general theories.

Let’s look on the notion “social movement”ť and it will help us to understand the main meaning of this term what was given by different sources.

Social movements are a group action types. It is something like large informal grouping of organizations or even individuals focused on specific political or social issues. These groups are created for changes and they struggle for them in their own ways.

Social movement – in sociology is a more or less persistent and organized attempt from the side of relative large mass of people to enter one or another social changes or, opposite, to shut out introduction of changes.

As we know, sociology and political sciences have developed a variety of theories of this direction and empirical research on social movements. For instance, different researchers in political science pay attention on the relation between popular social movements and the formation of various new political parties as well as discussing the function of social movements in relation to agenda setting and influence on politics. It is rather interesting information, but the main direction of our work connected with sociology and we will return to this topic discussing from the sociology point of view and this theory understanding.

In obedience to modern theories, social movements are veritable reason, agents (by subjects) of social changes, but not simply by emanation (“by expiration”ť) of independent historical processes. They make, construct, will transform and accomplish revolutions, consciously write histories, but not the prescribed roles play. Thus, they not appear automatically in necessary moment, but actively involved and will mobilize the supporters, striven not for the pre-installed “final of history”ť, which at the best case can be an only speed-up, but for the special aims which get out consciously.

For my comparative analysis I choose two theories and you can look through them in the next paragraph.

The theory of relative deprivation asserts that persons are tested by the necessity of achievement of some purpose not in that case, when he is absolutely deprived some blessing, right, values, and in that case, when he is deprived it relatively. By other words, this necessity is formed at comparing of the position (or positions of the group) to position other. Criticism marks simplification of problem in this theory or, at least, make the factor absolutization which can take a place in actual fact justly. Other theory – resources mobilization – does an accent on more “psychological”ť grounds of tacking to movement. It becomes firmly established, that a man follows a necessity to be in a greater degree identified with a group, feel itself part of it, the same to feel the force, mobilize resources. In this case it is also possible to do reproach in one-sidedness and overvalue only one of factors. Presumably, a question at the involve supporters of social movement yet waits the researches.

At the end of this work I want to mention that all of said above allows to draw a conclusion that social movements are the most difficult phenomenon of public life with the specific socially-psychological descriptions. They can not be strictly tied to the study only of the large organized task forces or, opposite, especially elemental educations. Nevertheless they plug in itself all of set of those specifics of intercourse of people, which is incident to these types of groups.

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