Social Movements

Category: Social Movements
Last Updated: 28 Feb 2023
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Social Movements: Who Gets Involved?

Movements occur when people come together to create change in society. Social injustice, racial inequality, and changing government policies, they have all been causes of movements being born.

People and social movements

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Just like the many reasons for movements to be, there are people who join these movements. People join social movements for a variety of reasons. It may be because someone they know is involved. They may feel a personal sense of responsibility to make change. They may even join a movement for political reasons. No matter the reason, each person that joins a movement feel they are doing something to effect change. The kinds of people who tend to become involved in movements varies. There are no guidelines to follow that makes a person qualified for a social movement but there different types of people within the movement.

There are elders, contributors, and sympathizers. The elders are “the people who want to bring about change through leading the movement since they have a certain passion for the issue. Elders research on ways to address certain issues and present them to the group” (theuniventedswag, 2012). The elders would seem to be the leaders of the movement. The contributors are “the participants who get involved in the movement and tend to invest in the ideas that have been presented by the movers and leaders within the movement.

Primary base of the movement

They are the primary base of the movement since they bring with them the primary resources, money, time, and contacts” (theuniventedswag, 2012). Those who believe in the movement and join would be the people who sympathize with the movement. “They are the people who hope for change that has been proposed by the movement” (theinventedswag, 2012). Sympathizers may join for moral reasons, believe in righting wrongs, or they may join because of a fad (Henslin, Glenday, Duffy, & Pupo, 2007). Whatever their reasons they feel they are making a change.

People may become involved in organizations, movements, or causes when they feel the need to belong. I have personally never been asked to join a movement organization or work for a cause, but I have and do donate money for causes based on the work that is being done. I became a member of St. Jude’s because they do great research in finding cures for childhood cancers. Breast cancer awareness is another cause where I donate. As the daughter and cousin of breast cancer survivors this is an important cause for me.

There have not been any organizations that I have found appealing other than the prior causes. Participating in movements have never been a part of my life. As I stated, I donate to cause that I feel are doing great work but that is usually the extent of my involvement. Had I been born during an earlier time, I would have joined the Civil Rights Movement because it helped to improve racial equality. There seems to be movements for everything in this day and time. The movement that I would not say I find repulsive, but I can’t get behind is the Brights Movement.


This movement was established in 2003, and it is a movement where the members have a more “naturalistic” view of the world. This is a movement of people who are atheists, agnostic, and skeptics who do not believe in a high deity. (Wikipedia). My faith and belief that there is a God is what helps me make it through the day. Especially when the world seems to be crazy, and things that are hard to comprehend are happening. Without my faith, I feel that I would be lost, so the Brights Movement does not register with me.

Although not a contemporary movement, the Ku Klux Klan will always be repulsive to me. Social movements have been the cause of great changes in society. They have brought about racial equality, equal rights for women, corrected social injustices, and even improved work place conditions. Because of those movements, I have rights that were denied me prior to their inception. Although some movements have come and gone, the ones that have brought about the most change will forever be a part of history.


  1. Harper, C. L., & Leicht, K. L. (2011). Exploring social change: America and the world (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780205748082.
  2. Henslin, J., Glenday, J. M., Duffy, D., & Pupo, N. (2007). Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach (4th Canadian ed.). Retrieved from
  3. Theuninventedswag (15th October 2012). People Who Tend To Get Involved in Social Movements. Retrieved from

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Social Movements. (2017, Mar 11). Retrieved from

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