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.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
"The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion." --
Democracy is not a specific set of institutions but a process that requires dissent.
Democracy is a process that assumes the majority of people,
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