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Social Movements

Social movements emerge proactively as an organized, collectively expressed grievance concerning a perceived social problem, or reactively as a response to a threatened change to a way of life, with the aim of solving these problems. A social movement is a set of opinions and beliefs in a population, which represents preferences for changing some elements of the social structures and/or reward distribution of a society. The term first appeared in North America in the mid-1950s when a group of young scholars from psychology began to research collective behavior and associated organizations, such as crowds, riots, and gangs. Social movements are formed by ordinary people as opposed to economic elites, politicians, or political movements, generally as protests against perceived injustices. This entry reviews the characteristics ...

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