9 Differentiate among the five major types of social movements based on their

9 differentiate among the five major types of social

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9. Differentiate among the five major types of social movements based on their goals and the amount of change they seek to produce. Answer: Sociologists distinguish among movements on the basis of their goals and the amount of change they seek to produce. Some movements seek to change people whereas others seek to change society. (1) reform movements seek to improve society by changing some specific aspect of the social structure. Members of reform movements usually work within the existing system to attempt to change existing public policy so that it more adequately reflects their own value systems. Examples include labor movements, animal rights movements, and antinuclear movements. (2) revolutionary movements seek to bring about a total change in society. These movements usually do not attempt to work within the existing system; rather they aim to remake the system by replacing existing institutions with new ones. These movements range from utopian groups seeking to establish an ideal society to radical terrorists who fear tactics to intimidate those with whom they disagree ideologically. (3) religious (expressive) movements seek to produce radical change in individuals and typically are based on spiritual or supernatural belief systems. These movements are concerned with renovating or renewing people through “inner change.” Fundamentalist religious groups seeking to convert nonbelievers to their belief system are examples of this type of movement. Some religious movements are millenarian—that is, they forecast that “the end is near.” And assert that an immediate change in behavior is imperative. Relatively new religious movements include the Hare Krishnas, the Unification Church, and Scientology, all of which tend to appeal to the psychological and social needs of young people seeking meaning in life that mainstream religions have not provided for them. (4) alternative movements seek limited change in some aspect of people’s behavior. For example, early in the 20 th century the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (led by Carrie Nation) attempted to get people to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages. More recently, a variety of “New Age” movements have directed people’s behavior by emphasizing spiritual consciousness combined with a belief in reincarnation and astrology. Such practices as vegetarianism, meditation, and holistic medicine are often included in the self-improvement category. (5) resistance (regressive) movements seek to prevent change or to undo change that has already occurred. Virtually all the proactive social movements face resistance from one or more reactive movements that hold opposing viewpoints and want to foster public policies that reflect their own beliefs. Examples of resistance movements are groups organized since the 1950s to oppose school integration, civil rights and affirmative action legislation, and domestic partnership initiatives.

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