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.


Special thanks to the advisory board members for encouraging this website over the years

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

The Social Movement Study Network website
is being rebuilt as a static referral page to the growing number of websites on social movements across the political spectrum that are curated by academics, scholars, and serious journalists.

Most of the research resources on right-wing movements are in the process of being moved to and maintained by the new
Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right

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

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.

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


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)

Unless otherwise noted, all material on this website is copyright ©2011-2018 by Research for Progress

Site curated by Chip Berlet