According to Doug McAdam and David Snow, a social movement is:

“a collectivity acting with some degree of organization and continuity outside of institutional channels for the purpose of promoting or resisting change in the group, society, or world order of which it is a part.”

Doug McAdam and David Snow, eds., Social Movements: Readings on Their Emergence, Mobilization, and Dynamics (Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing Company, 1997), xviii.

Welcome to Members of the
Section on Collective Behavior & Social Movements
of the American Sociological Association

The website works closely with the section and other institutions; and encourages interested scholars to contribute short definitional essays to help get the site expanded.
Inquire within.

Now Collecting
for this Website

Course Outlines and Syllibi on Social Movement Studies

Click to Open These Resource Pages:
MultiSite Guided Search
Search Websites of Selected Groups Defending Democracy & Civil Society
Database Taxonomy Useful in Studying Social Movements
Developed for Studying Rightwing Movements but Broadly Useful
Timelines (Under Construction)
The Tools of Fear
How Demagogues Spawn Systems of Oppression,
Violence, and Genocide

What Policymakers, Journalists, and All of Us
Need to Know about Social Movements

  • Most people who join social movements, political movements, or religious movements are not mentally ill or stupid. They have adopted an ideology and constructed an identity that in their view justifies their actions--whether these actions are deemed constructive or destructive by society.
  • The vast majority of movement activists never engage in violence.
  • There is no correlation linking religious piety with violence.
  • The radicalization process itself does not cause violence.
  • Dissent, movement activism, and non-violent civil disobedience are part of the democratic process in civil society.

Social Movement Theory
for Activists

The Movement Action Plan (MAP)

The Practical Strategist

Terrorism & Social Movements
Study Guide

Studying Right-Wing Social Movements that Undermine Human Rights


Major Centers of Research

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements
of the American Sociological Association

Find More Resources Here

Center for the Study of Social Movements at Notre Dame

Mobilization! A Journal

Center for Right-Wing Studies

Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies is housed at the University of California at Berkeley

Resources Page:

The Bancroft Library at U.C. Berkeley maintains the Sara Diamond Collection on the U.S. Right


Featured Social Movement Organization

Spirit House Project uses the arts, research, education, action, and spirituality to bring diverse peoples together to work for racial, economic, and social justice, as well as for spiritual maturity.

Featured Physical Archives

Marquette University has acquired a large collection of FBI files on US right-wing organizations and individuals. The files were released under the federal Freedom of Information Act to researcher Ernie Lazar. The Lazar Collection is also ONLINE!

Emory University: Neighbor's Network (Atlanta, Ga.) 1987-1998)

Featured Multimedia

Anti-Nazi lithograph cartoons by a survivor of the the genocide.

Why this Webpage?

The goal of the website is to provide online linkages to a variety of existing and new transatlantic resources for the study of social movements that seek to expand or restrict access to full democratic human rights for all people. The mission is to illuminate the relationship of hierarchies of race, gender, and class to societal conflicts, especially those involving social movement organizations and their specific ideologies, frames, and narratives.

This website is sponsored by a group of scholars in the United States and Europe for the purpose of providing reliable resources for scholars, researchers, students, journalists, and organizers for human rights as defined by various international documents and United Nations declarations.

The Social Movement Study Website is an independent collaborative non-profit endeavor that receives no funding from governments or partisan political organizations.

Advisory Board
(in formation)

Cynthia Burack (US)
James Danky (US)
Matthew Feldman (UK)
Paul Jackson (UK)
Angelia R. Wilson (UK)

The global human rights movement challenges the
systems, structures, and institutions that create, defend, and extend
oppression and repression in a society.

“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”
                      --Frederick Douglass

“There Is No Hierarchy of Oppressions.”
                      --Audre Lorde

"The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion."
                       -- Molly Ivins

Democracy is not a specific set of institutions but a process that requires dissent.

Democracy is a process that assumes the majority of people,
over time, given enough accurate information, and the ability to participate in a free and open public debate,
reach constructive decisions that benefit the whole of society, and
preserve liberty, protect our freedoms, extend equality, and defend democracy.

Without dissent there is no progress in a society: Dissent is Essential

Unless otherwise noted, all material on this website is copyright ©2011-2013 by Research for Progress

Site curated by Chip Berlet