Social Movements – CBSE Notes for Class 12 Sociology
• Where a group of people come together in order to bring about change in society in regard to certain social issues with the aim of changing people’s perspectives about that aspect.
Protest (where it comes out openly)
Social Movement (may or may not lead).
• Dissent is a form of dissatisfaction that people feel about a certain issue and when it comes out openly it is in the form of a protest.
• During colonial rule
There were many social reformers who wanted to change the life of the depressed class and few social evils.
• Now social movements are present today also but the issues have changed.
• They have become global and have a difference there e.g. environment, domestic violence etc.
Features of Social Movement
(i) Mass modalisation of people
• Large no. of people who believe in the issue (Voluntary people).
• New government
• Can be against the government
• Sustained effort over long period of time.
(ii) Leadership and Organisation
• Someone to guide the people
• Leaders have to make decisions and abide by them.
• Essential for progress
• Movements need a set plan to do things pertaining to the cause.
(iii) Ideology and Objective
• Must have these two Ideology —»viewpoint
• It tells us how they are going to protest and what they are fighting for.
(iv) Change Orientation
• The main aim of a social movement is to change the mindset, thinking of the people.
• Usually to do with social issues and seeing that it was reflected in society.
• A small group of people who are against the larger group of people that they are a part of e.g. Brahmo Samaj – Dharma Sabha
Orthodox Muslims – Unorthodox Muslims
• Even today count eventuates exists.
• How can social eventuates be expressed?
Strikes, bands, petitions, dhama, hunger strike
• How can social movements be expressed?
Strikes, bandhs, petitions, dhama, hunger strike.
Sociology and Social Movement
1. In any country, social movement aims at changing some aspect of society.
• French revolution against monarchy when people were suffering, depressed and wanted freedom and equality.
• Industrial Revolt (Britian) – protest by common man —» paid low wages and treated
2. According to Emile Durkheim, social movement can lead to disintegration/disorder of society. Society is more important than individual.
• Spoke about division of labour, social facts, suicide and religion.
3. Social movements usually aim at improving the life of depressed class and sociology is the study of society.
• Poor people/depressed section express themselves through protests as they have no other way of doing so.
Theories of Social Movements
(1) Theory of Relative Deprivation
• Everyone is deprived of something but every deprivation does not lead to social movements.
• However this theory states that when a particular, group is deprived by any basic necessity it will lead to a social movement. The basis of this theory is that the individual
(i) Feels resentful (unhappy with situation)
(ii) Has a psychological factor which convinces them that they are deprived.
• Every deprivation should not or will not lead to a social movement.
• Deprivation is not enough for a social movement.
• Many other factors are involved.
Theory of collective action
• Given by Olson who states that every individual who is part of a social movement have a self-interest. As soon as their self-interest is fulfilled they leave the social movement.
• The basis of this theory is humans rational thinking why should I be part of a social movement if I don’t benefit.
Theory of Resource Mobilisation
• Given by McCarthy and Zald.
• They said everyone in a social movement need not have self interest.
• They said social movement is successful if one is able to mobilise resources (people, good leaders, economic resources, political support), e.g Anna Hazare (2011), did not have self interest.
• According to Sociologists people can create resources. They don’t have to mobilise them. A social-movement need not depend on existing resources, new identities, new resources etc are created.
e.g. Freedom struggle – no money, political power but generated resources in man power, good leader etc.
Types of Social Movements
• Three ways to classify social movements
Reformist Movement is a movement where the reformers try to change the mindset of the people regarding a particular issue.
Revolutionary Movement is a movement where radical or violent methods are used to bring about change in society. (Could use weapons), e.g Subash Chandra Boses – Indian National Army, Bhagat Singh Redemptive Movement is formed to reduce actions done in the past.
lies to change the thinking of the people.
eg. Anti Brahmin Movement started by Shree Narayan
• Flora and fauna destroyed deforestation.
• Trees are needed —»prevent floods and landslides.
• Survived on forest for produce.
• Any movement to do with the environment.
• It is a new problems.
• It was not there in the past.
• Have come up in the last 2-3 decades.
Chipko Movement – is a movement which was not only economic aspect, it affected all aspect.
• When contractors from cities came to cut down the trees, the women and children went and hugged the trees.
Reason being they were dependent on the forest for their livelihood (grazing, fodder, firewood, food and gathering).
• Villagers were unhappy that politicians sitting in the cities were dictating terms and they knew politicians were not concerned about their livelihood.
It became popular, mass media was important in spreading the news and people started their own movements in their own states.
Class Based Movement Peasant Movement
1. Pre-Colonial: There were movements, but they were not localised so we did not know about them as peasants were too scared to form their own movements. They were poor and could not mobilise people.
(i) 19th Century – Some revolts did become quite popular.
(ii) Bengal Revolt – Indigo plantations by Gandhi during 1917 – 1920 when he came back from South Africa he travelled all across India helping people.
• There were 2 important movements.
(i) Champaran (ii) Bardoli
• 1920 there were a lot of revolts to do wdth forest.
• Organisations formed: All India Kissan Sabha (AIKS), Bihar Provincial Kissan Sabha
• Telangana Movement (West Bengal).
• Farmers had to give 50% profit to government.
• They wanted 2/3rd (60%) profit and give remaining l/3rd to the govt —» sharecroppers (supported by CPI and AIKS).
Telangana Movement (Andhra Pradesh).
• They were against the Feudal System.
• Peasants protested against the Nizzaries rule.
• They wanted proper working system.
• It was supported by CPI.
• Naxalbari – in West Bengal it started off as peasant movement and slowly became New Farmers Movement
• Started off by farmers in a few places like Tamil Nadu, Punjab.
• Farmers put money together and built roads etc as they were tired of the politicians faked promises and they did all the work and they did not let the government vehdles pass.
• No support from government parties.
• Anti urban and anti government.
• Worked for years for administration to help them but since they got no help they did it on their own.
Mainly connected with market.
• Prices reduced more support from government reduce taxes, subsidiaries, support price, easy loans, stop exploitation, methods they used to show their displeasure.
• Bandhs, blocked roads and railways. No politicians, administrators on the road.
New farmers movements slowly took under its wings women issues and ecological issues.
• During the colonial period, the workers had their own problems.
• Chennai, Bombay, Calcutta
• Initially problems were to do with wages, working conditions.
• Trade unions – consists of workers themselves,
• They form an association.
• Initially the protest was localised but national movement picked up momentum and so the workers movement picked up momentum.
• In the early 20th Century there were textile strikes, workers strikes
• Calcutta – Jute mill
• Chennai & Bombay – Textile mill
• Trade unions were established
• TLA (textile labour association) – Gandhi ji
• AITUC (all India trade union congress) – B.P. Wadia
• Old movements were supported by a political party. Some supported by radicals and modulate.
• When AITUC was formed, the Britishers became very cautious.
• Many laws were passed by the Britishers which had its own rules and regulations as Trade Union Act.
• Slowly AITUC became very powerful and were supported by the communists.
They formed – Indian National Trade Union Congress
• The Radicals and Congress moved away
AITUC became very powerful at local, regional, national level.
• During recession period many became jobless.
: There was inflation and protests
• There were many railway strikes main urban of transport.
• Demanding better wages and working conditions.
• During emergency no protests allowed.
Caste Based Movement
• They are different from other movements as they were fighting for self-respect and dignity.
• They wanted to be touched. It was not only Dalits fighting but also some Brahmins and Gandhi ji.
• It was a struggle against discrimination. The concept of untouchability was to be abolished.
• Concept of untouchability had connections with destiny and pollution purity.
• Dalit movement took place all over India and each dalit movement had a different issue/ agenda (wages/employment) but they all fought for dignity and self-respect.
• Not only started by Dalits but other castes also (Sri Narayan Guru)
• Satnami Movement – Chattisgarh
• Mahar Movement – Maharashtra
• Adi Dharma Movement – Punjab
• Anti Brahman Movement – Kerala.
• Dalit Panther Movement.
• Dalit movement could be ignored in the past but not now due to media.
• Dalit literature became popular because it was poems, dramas, songs, stories about their lives and sufferings etc.
• This led to the change in the mindset of people and emphasized the fighting for self dignity by Dalits and to bring about change in all aspects of life.
• Reservations are a result of dalit movement.
• Other backward classes
• Economically backward but are part of the forward caste.
• Don’t suffer from untouchability.
• OBC was first used in Madras and Bombay for those who were economically backward
• AIBCL/F – All India Backward classes League/Federation.
Words That Matter
1. Logic of collective action given in Mancur Olson’s book: A social movement is an aggregation of rational individual actors pursuing their self-interest i.e. social movements are made up of individuals pursuing their self-interest.
2. New social movements: Not about changing the distribution of power in society but about quantity-of-life issues such as having a clean environment.
3. Old social movements: Functioned within the frame of political parties.
4. Reformist social movements: Strive to change the existing social and political arrangements through gradual, incremental steps.
5. Redemptive social movement: Aims to bring about a change in the personal consciousness and actions of its individual members. For instance, people in the Ezhava community in Kerala were led by Narayana Guru to change their social practices.
6. Resource mobilization theory given by McCarthy and Zald’s: A social movements success depends on its ability to mobilize resources or means of different sorts.
7. Revolutionary social movements: Attempt to radically transform social relations, often by capturing state power. The Bolshevik revolution in Russia that deposed the Tsar to create a communist state and the Naxalite movement in India that seeks to remove oppressive landlords and state officials can be described as revolutionary movements.
8. Social Movement: A social movement involves sustain collective mobilization through either informal or formal organisation and is generally oriented through bringing changes in the existing system of relationships. Ideology is an important component of social movement.
9. Theory of Relative Deprivation: Social conflict arise when a social group feels that it is worse off than others around it. Such conflict is likely to result in successful collective protest.