Spring 2022 | Mediterranean Exploration

POLS 443 - Comparative Social Movements

Overview of Course

Reviews major works dealing with conceptual and theoretical foundations of social movements and examines a number of cases across regions. Social movements constitute a collective, organized, sustained, and noninstitutionalized challenge to authorities, powerholders, or cultural beliefs and practices. They are conscious, concerted, and sustained efforts by ordinary people to change some aspect of their society by using extra-institutional means. This course will assist you to understand these movements, and how they drive a political and a social change. It will also be an introduction into social theory helping us to answer the questions of why and how people do the things they do; why people cooperate with each other when they might get as many or more benefits by acting selfishly or alone. The course will also provide practical information for those of you who are interested in supporting democracy, human rights or a changing society; to that end you will learn techniques of organizing, mobilizing, and influencing the media. The course will cover a wide range of topics from women’s movement to LGBTQ+ including farmers’ movement and failed revolutions such as China in 1989 and the Arab Spring of 2004.