You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

Social Movements & Trends

The rules and cultural norms of an organized society may not be written in stone, but often it does require a dedicated collective effort in order to disrupt and revise them. Throughout history, people have come together in group campaigns to effect change in the structure or values of a society. Movements such as abolitionism, the women's rights movement, the American civil rights movement, and the gay rights movement illustrate how common citizens can influence legislative action and modify cultural norms when they unite with the shared goal of bringing about a certain social change. Societal change can also take place naturally as a result of the accumulation of many smaller changes within a society. Large-scale trends such as industrialization, modernization, and urbanization provide examples of this more passive process of change.

Social Movements & Trends Encyclopedia Articles

Featured Articles

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Baptist minister and social activist who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. His leadership was fundamental to that movement’s success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the...
Biography
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Socialism
Socialism, social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
Henri de Saint-Simon, lithograph by L. Deymaru, 19th century
Abby Hadassah Smith and Julia Evelina Smith
Abby Hadassah Smith and Julia Evelina Smith, American suffragists who relentlessly protested for their property and voting rights, drawing considerable national and international attention to their situation and their cause. The Smith sisters, the youngest of five children, lived almost their...
Biography
Smith, Abby Hadassah; Smith, Julia Evelina
Animal rights
Animal rights, moral or legal entitlements attributed to nonhuman animals, usually because of the complexity of their cognitive, emotional, and social lives or their capacity to experience physical or emotional pain or pleasure. Historically, different views of the scope of animal rights have...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
Jeremy Bentham, detail of an oil painting by H.W. Pickersgill, 1829; in the National Portrait Gallery, London
Social movement
Social movement, loosely organized but sustained campaign in support of a social goal, typically either the implementation or the prevention of a change in society’s structure or values. Although social movements differ in size, they are all essentially collective. That is, they result from the...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
John Brown
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell, English soldier and statesman, who led parliamentary forces in the English Civil Wars and was lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1653–58) during the republican Commonwealth. As one of the generals on the parliamentary side in the English Civil War against King...
Biography
Oliver Cromwell
Democracy
Democracy, literally, rule by the people. The term is derived from the Greek dēmokratiā, which was coined from dēmos (“people”) and kratos (“rule”) in the middle of the 5th century bce to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens. The etymological origins...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
voting in the 2012 U.S. presidential election
Election
Election, the formal process of selecting a person for public office or of accepting or rejecting a political proposition by voting. It is important to distinguish between the form and the substance of elections. In some cases, electoral forms are present but the substance of an election is...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
2008 Canadian federal election results
Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem, American feminist, political activist, and editor who was an articulate advocate of the women’s liberation movement during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Steinem spent her early years traveling with her parents in a house trailer. After their divorce in 1946, Gloria settled...
Biography
Steinem, Gloria
Communism
Communism, political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e.g., mines, mills, and factories) and the natural resources of a society. Communism is thus a form of...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
Karl Marx
Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India. As such, he came to be considered the father of his country. Gandhi is internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest...
Biography
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Liberalism
Liberalism, political doctrine that takes protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual to be the central problem of politics. Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others, but they also recognize that government itself can pose...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
John Locke
Modernization
Modernization, in sociology, the transformation from a traditional, rural, agrarian society to a secular, urban, industrial society. Modern society is industrial society. To modernize a society is, first of all, to industrialize it. Historically, the rise of modern society has been inextricably...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
Anarchism
Anarchism, cluster of doctrines and attitudes centred on the belief that government is both harmful and unnecessary. Anarchist thought developed in the West and spread throughout the world, principally in the early 20th century. Derived from the Greek root anarchos meaning “without authority,”...
Encyclopedia / Social Movements & Trends
anarchy symbol

Social Movements & Trends Encyclopedia Articles

Your preference has been recorded
Check out Britannica's new site for parents!
Subscribe Today!
污污直播app-污污直播破解版永久免费版