Social Movements

Students protesting at Illinois State University, 2014

Course Overview:
The central goals of this course are to familiarize students with the collective struggles of powerless people to achieve social justice, to develop an understanding of the role these efforts play in a democratic society, and to examine key dynamics of social movements.

Some questions we will wrestle with are: How do powerless people acquire? What are tactics and strategies they employ to do so? What obstacles must they overcome?  How do elites respond to them? Who participates in social movements and why? And, what do movements accomplish?


Here is an episode from one of my favorite radio programs and podcasts (On the Media) discussing movements in the age of social media and the 24-hr news cycle. Originally aired January 2018.



Background Lecture on Mohandas Gandhi

Mean Things Happening – Workers Fight for Fair Share
Awakenings 1954-56