Social Movements – Demographic Shifts and Social Change (SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:00 Now, let’s talk about something called social movements. What are these? Well, these are based upon group actions.

    00:08 So, they’re typically a large, sometimes informal, groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on specific political or social issues.

    00:16 This is a group of individuals that would like to cause or undo or resist social change.

    00:25 So in simple English, these are a group of individuals that disagree with some aspect of society and they want to try to change that.

    00:33 Or they agree with it or advocating it.

    00:35 So, we know of so many social movements. And we’ll go through some of examples in just a sec.

    00:40 So they require a couple of things, and these are important for them to succeed.

    00:44 One is organizations. It just can’t be a Willy Nelly group of people out there assigned screaming about nothing.

    00:51 They need to have an organization, a hierarchical structure.

    00:54 And does not to be as official, as say a bureaucracy or a industrial association.

    01:00 But they do need to have some organization. Primarily around a figure head and an executive a group of people who are going to champion the actual execution of these social movement.

    01:12 That’s the second of leadership. You need that executive to be able to drive this ship in drive this movement.

    01:18 And then, thirdly, you need to have these resources in order to be successful.

    01:22 You need to have either some financial resources or manpower resources.

    01:26 Now, we’re going to talk about relative deprivation.

    01:30 And this is the theory that states that social movements have their foundations among people who feel deprived of some goods or resources that other people in their society have access to.

    01:39 So their feel some type of deprivation or they got, they missed-out on some potential goods or resources that others have. Why don’t I have that? So there’s a perception of social deprivation but its relative.

    01:54 And it’s actually quite individual.

    01:56 So if we write down the name itself relative deprivation, the deprivation applies to them not feeling like they don’t have access to something to other people do.

    02:05 But the relative is, its in comparison to other people and in their states.

    02:10 So look at the example of say a janitor, somebody who cleans toilets for a living and cleans bathrooms.

    02:16 He might be the happiest guy in the world. He’s doing what he loves to do.

    02:21 He keeps bathrooms sparkling clean. And everybody loves this guy.

    02:24 So he’s very, very happy.

    02:25 Now, he actually might be missing a lot of good and resources that other in the society have.

    02:32 He might not have access to extended health care. He might not have a great doctor.

    02:36 He might not have all the different hings that say a lawyer has.

    02:40 But what if that a lawyer is miserable, hates his life. He feels like He is being passed over for a different positions.

    02:48 He feels like that he doesn’t have a good partner in life. He’s just overall not happy guy.

    02:54 So he is very unhappy. Now in terms of who’s gonna feel deprivation? Well the happy janitor, he’s happy. I don’t think he’s even concerned or feels like missing anything as supposed to the unhappy lawyer.

    03:04 So two individuals, completely different points in terms of social economic status.

    03:10 Yet, the lawyer might be more up to saying I’m feeling relatively deprivation.

    03:16 So basically as long as there is some type of social inequality, people will feel like there’s that are better off in them. It’s just kind of human nature.

    03:24 You’re a lot of times not happy with what’s in front of you.

    03:27 Grasses is always green or you feel like well why do they have access to those hospitals and I don’t have that? Or why are they, able to get that medicine when I can’t? And so that relative portion of this definition is whats really important here.

    03:41 Now, what are the some basic requirements for a social movement to be initiated under this theory? One, is you need to have this relative deprivation.

    03:49 The second is you have to have this feeling of deserving better. Right I deserve better.

    03:55 And that’s why I’m gonna stand up for this.

    03:57 And then third belief that conventional methods will not be effective.

    04:00 So basically are saying, you need to see that there’s a gap or feel that there’s a gap.

    04:04 You need to feel that you deserve better. And finally, you need to feel like I tried everything and nothing else is working. Therefore, I’m trying to initiate a movement.

    04:13 I need my voice to be heard.

    04:15 Now, the weakness of this system, of this theory sorry is that, despite all of this, even when all of the basic requirements are met, it doesn’t always mean that there’s gonna be a social movement.

    04:25 Alright, there’s a lot of time you can think of probably in the news where you hear of people saying there is a supposed gap, they’re allowed and proud.

    04:34 but they are missing a lot of components. But nevertheless, considering that they’ve identified that. And they’ve met all the other criteria, there’s still no social movement. Why is that? The second thing is individuals who don’t feel deprived will still join the social movement.

    04:49 So you might say, I kind of agree with what you’re saying.

    04:53 I personally don’t feel deprive. But I believe in what you’re saying.

    04:57 So yeah, I’ll join your social movement.

    04:58 So, why are they joining? Are they not experiencing this relative deprivation? Is it more that they want to be included to be part of a social circle? Or what’s driving their inclusion into this social movement? So two things that we consider weakness of this relative deprivation theory.

    05:14 Dynamics of Social Movements.

    05:16 They are created in shared ideas between a few individuals.

    05:19 That’s how a social movement works. It initiates with a couple of individuals And that they shared and shared.

    05:26 And they anchored on a charismatic impactful movement leader or figurehead.

    05:30 So the examples that I have here is Martin Luther King, Gandhi.

    05:33 You can think a lot of different perhaps social movements where they find somebody where the viewer or the rest of the population resonate and we’ll listen to them because of their ability either to present themselves the way in were they speak.

    05:48 Or perhaps sometimes in their actual credentials.

    05:51 They’re considered somebody of statute that you could listen to.

    05:54 Next, you get the incipient stage. In this is where the public begins to take notice and they realize there is this relative deprivation.

    06:01 They make themselves and say, “I do experience relative deprivation, I get this.” And then this group grows.

    06:08 Then they achieve successes or failures and they have their voice to be heard.

    06:12 And it’s considered as success perhaps when they become actually part of the bureaucracy which seems sort of paradoxical or they’re fighting the bureaucracy.

    06:21 And they are presenting their case but in order for this to be executed for there to be changed most of the time they actually need to be part of that process, right? And once whether they succeed or fail they dissolve and cease to exist.

    06:34 And they to get absorbed into existing institutions.

    06:37 So there are, I don’t want to say short live coz’ somebody’s call these movements can last a while but they’re no indefinite. They definitely do have a shelf life.

    06:46 Here’s are summary of some of the stages of social movements.

    06:49 I got all thing you need to memorize this for the M-Cap. But you should be familiar but a kind of highlights the stuff that what we talked about.

    06:55 So for emerging to coalescing to becoming a part of a bureaucracy To going to the stages of success or failure and ultimately starting to dissolve.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Social Movements – Demographic Shifts and Social Change (SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Demographic Characteristics and Processes.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Organization
    2. Leadership
    3. Resources
    4. Consciousness
    5. Adaptability
    1. The theory states that social movements have their foundations among people who feel deprived.
    2. The theory states that social movements have their foundations among people who are alike.
    3. The theory states that social movements have their foundations among people who feel less privileged.
    4. The theory states that social movements have their foundations among people who are immigrants.
    5. The theory states that social movements have their foundations among people who need constant support.
    1. Even when all basic requirements are met, there is not always a social movement.
    2. Even individuals who don't feel deprived will join a social movement.
    3. The social movement often fails.
    4. The social movements require an initiator.
    5. Even success leaves some people behind.

    Author of lecture Social Movements – Demographic Shifts and Social Change (SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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