Sociology | Topics in Social Policy: Social Movements
S360 | 3780 | Redding


A variety of social movements have challenged the U.S. political
system and its policies in the past 50 years, from unions to the 60s
student movement to the new Christian right to the recent protests
against globalization.  Social movements are collective challenges by
people with common purposes and solidarity to elites, authorities,
and other opponents.  They seek to alter the status quo or to protect
it.  We will study how and why they arise, what forms they take, who
supports them and why. We will discuss how social movements challenge
conventional ways of "doing" politics while offering new, alternative
sources of social identities.  The course will examine a variety of
historical and contemporary social movements, including the civil
rights and abortion movements, look at recent activism in
Bloomington, and the relationship between movements and the media.
Finally, we will ask if and how social movements matter in terms of
government policies at local, state, and national levels.