The Polish Solidarity movement, which eventually toppled the communist regimes of Eastern Europe , developed after trade union activist Anna Walentynowicz was fired from work. The South African shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo grew out of a road blockade in response to the sudden selling off of a small piece of land promised for housing to a developer. Such an event is also described as a volcanic model — a social movement is often created after a large number of people realize that there are others sharing the same value and desire for a particular social change.
This third stage, bureaucratization, is when movements must become more organized, centered around a more systematic model.
The set up and system for going about the construct must be more formal, with people taking on specific roles and responsibilities. This 'taking over' may be a positive or negative move for organizations. Ella Baker, an activist who played a role in the NAACP,  had proposed to the students of the student movement to start their own organization.
This becomes known as the SNCC, the student nonviolent coordinating committee s. The students could have join forces with the SCLC,  an already existing organization, but that would have been a poor bureaucratizing decision, as they would succumb to old ideologies. New and progressive ideas that challenge prior authority are crucial to social change. The declining of a social movement does not necessarily mean failure.
There are multiple routes in which a movement may take before proceeding into decline. Failure is often the result of the incapability to keep a common focus, and work towards the goal in mind. Co-optation results when people or groups are integrated and shift away from the social movement's initial concerns and values.
Repression is another example, when the movement is slowly wiped away from the public platform through means of an outside force, usually being the government. The last route into declining is going mainstream, which is generally perceived as an overall success. This is when goals of the movement are taken into society as a part of daily life, making it a 'social norm. It is important to recognize that though movements may disintegrate and cease to be active, the impact that they have in the social realm is success in its own way.
It sparks the notion in new generations that the possibility to organize and make change is there. Some of the better-known approaches are outlined below. Chronologically they include:.
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Deprivation theory argues that social movements have their foundations among people who feel deprived of some good s or resource s. According to this approach, individuals who are lacking some good, service, or comfort are more likely to organize a social movement to improve or defend their conditions. There are two significant problems with this theory.
First, since most people feel deprived at one level or another almost all the time, the theory has a hard time explaining why the groups that form social movements do when other people are also deprived.
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Second, the reasoning behind this theory is circular — often the only evidence for deprivation is the social movement. If deprivation is claimed to be the cause but the only evidence for such is the movement, the reasoning is circular. Mass society theory argues that social movements are made up of individuals in large societies who feel insignificant or socially detached. Social movements, according to this theory, provide a sense of empowerment and belonging that the movement members would otherwise not have.
Very little support has been found for this theory. Aho , in his study of Idaho Christian Patriotism, did not find that members of that movement were more likely to have been socially detached. In fact, the key to joining the movement was having a friend or associate who was a member of the movement. Social strain theory , also known as value-added theory, proposes six factors that encourage social movement development: .
However, social movement activism is, like in the case of deprivation theory, often the only indication that there was strain or deprivation. Resource mobilization theory emphasizes the importance of resources in social movement development and success. Resources are understood here to include: knowledge, money, media, labor, solidarity, legitimacy, and internal and external support from power elite.
The theory argues that social movements develop when individuals with grievances are able to mobilize sufficient resources to take action. In contrast to earlier collective behavior perspectives on social movements—which emphasized the role of exceptional levels of deprivation, grievance, or social strain in motivating mass protest—Resource Mobilization perspectives hold "that there is always enough discontent in any society to supply the grass-roots support for a movement if the movement is effectively organized and has at its disposal the power and resources of some established elite group"  Movement emergence is contingent upon the aggregation of resources by social movement entrepreneurs and movement organizations, who use these resources to turn collective dissent in to political pressure.
Resource Mobilization Theory views social movement activity as "politics by other means": a rational and strategic effort by ordinary people to change society or politics. Movements develop in contingent opportunity structures that influence their efforts to mobilize; and each movement's response to the opportunity structures depends on the movement's organization and resources [ citation needed ].
Critics of this theory argue that there is too much of an emphasis on resources, especially financial resources. Some movements are effective without an influx of money and are more dependent upon the movement members for time and labor e. Political process theory is similar to resource mobilization in many regards, but tends to emphasize a different component of social structure that is important for social movement development: political opportunities.
Political process theory argues that there are three vital components for movement formation: insurgent consciousness, organizational strength, and political opportunities. Insurgent consciousness refers back to the ideas of deprivation and grievances.
The idea is that certain members of society feel like they are being mistreated or that somehow the system is unjust. The insurgent consciousness is the collective sense of injustice that movement members or potential movement members feel and serves as the motivation for movement organization.
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Organizational strength falls inline with resource-mobilization theory, arguing that in order for a social movement to organize it must have strong leadership and sufficient resources. Political opportunity refers to the receptivity or vulnerability of the existing political system to challenge. This vulnerability can be the result of any of the following or a combination thereof :.
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One of the advantages of the political process theory is that it addresses the issue of timing or emergence of social movements. Some groups may have the insurgent consciousness and resources to mobilize, but because political opportunities are closed, they will not have any success. The theory, then, argues that all three of these components are important. Critics of the political process theory and resource-mobilization theory point out that neither theory discusses movement culture to any great degree.
This has presented culture theorists an opportunity to expound on the importance of culture. One advance on the political process theory is the political mediation model, which outlines the way in which the political context facing movement actors intersects with the strategic choices that movements make. An additional strength of this model is that it can look at the outcomes of social movements not only in terms of success or failure but also in terms of consequences whether intentional or unintentional, positive or negative and in terms of collective benefits.
Reflecting the cultural turn in the social sciences and humanities more broadly, recent strains of social movement theory and research add to the largely structural concerns seen in the resource mobilization and political process theories by emphasizing the cultural and psychological aspects of social movement processes, such as collectively shared interpretations and beliefs, ideologies, values and other meanings about the world. In doing so, this general cultural approach also attempts to address the free-rider problem. One particularly successful take on some such cultural dimensions is manifested in the framing perspective on social movements.
While both resource mobilization theory and political process theory include, or at least accept, the idea that certain shared understandings of, for example, perceived unjust societal conditions must exist for mobilization to occur at all, this is not explicitly problematized within those approaches. The framing perspective has brought such shared understandings to the forefront of the attempt to understand movement creation and existence by, e.
An injustice frame is a collection of ideas and symbols that illustrate both how significant the problem is as well as what the movement can do to alleviate it,. Important characteristics of the injustice frames include: . In emphasizing the injustice frame, culture theory also addresses the free-rider problem.
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The free-rider problem refers to the idea that people will not be motivated to participate in a social movement that will use up their personal resources e. In other words, if person X knows that movement Y is working to improve environmental conditions in his neighborhood, he is presented with a choice: join or not join the movement. If he believes the movement will succeed without him, he can avoid participation in the movement, save his resources, and still reap the benefits - this is free-riding. Culture theory argues that, in conjunction with social networks being an important contact tool, the injustice frame will provide the motivation for people to contribute to the movement.
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