Chapter summary imageHow Do Societies Change?

What drives social change?

  • reactions to events and new opportunities

What are the theories behind social movements?

  • functionalism: social movements challenge the equilibrium of society and give people a way to relieve their frustrations and emotions about a particular subject
  • conflict theory: social inequality creates discontent among some, which can lead to social movements
  • symbolic interactionism: social movements use frames to define and further their cause
  • feminist theory: feminism is itself an example of a social movement

How do social movements influence society?

  • social movements: provide an ever-changing sociological landscape; encourage the development of new theory and the application of existing theory