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Social Movements And Modernization

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According to the book Society: The Basics, social change can be defined as, “the transformation of culture and social institutions over time” (Macionis, 2006, p. 451). There are four main causes of social change: cultural change, conflicts, changes in ideas, and demographic changes (Macionis, 2006). Four primary stages of a social change are “emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline” (Macionis, 2006). Social movements have shaped the United States and social movements will continue to shape the face of the United States. In fact, many of these movements are taking place at this very moment. Additionally, social movements can generally be placed into one of four social movements categories; these categories are alternative social movements, redemptive social movements, reformative social movements and revolutionary social movements (Macionis, 2006).

An alternative social movement is typically targets a specific group of people and promises to help enrich the lives of those who follow (Macionis, 2006). One current example of an alternative social movement, which is becoming increasingly popular in the military community, is home schooling. This alternative to public school is becoming increasingly popular as a dissatisfaction of public schools increases among parents. A redemptive social movement is similar to an alternative social movement, in that it also targets a specific group, but a more extreme change is desired than that of alternative social movements (Macionis, 2006). A current example of a redemptive social movement is anti-death penalty movement. This movement cites the main reason for their movement as the 8th Commandment, which says that thou shalt not kill. A current reformative social movement aims at one specific issue, but targets all of society (Macionis, 2006). One example of a reformative social movement is the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA. PETA’s primary goal is to decrease the slaughter of animals for selfish reasons. In recent years, PETA has specifically sought out to reform those in the public eye, like singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, but PETA’s campaigns are widespread. A revolutionary social movement seeks to change all members of society (Macionis, 2006). A current example of a revolutionary social movement is the National Organization for Women, or NOW. NOW’s primary goal is to close the gap on



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