A social movement is a type
of collective behavior (activities involving large numbers of people).
Social movements require continued effort and organized activities,
and their purpose is to cause or resist social change. Depending on
whom the social movement aims to change and on how much it tries to
change the society, a social movement can be alternative, redemptive,
reformative, or revolutionary. In this passage, we will briefly explain
alternative and redemptive social movements.
Alternative social movements
try to cause limited change in a specific group of society. Home schooling
(parents educating their children at home instead of sending them
to school) is an example of an alternative movement because it tries
to change only a portion of the population – the children who
are home-schooled – and only in a limited way – the education
Redemptive social movements
try to cause total change in specific individuals. They try to change
the individual's whole way of life. Alcoholics Anonymous is an example
of a redemptive social movement. It seeks to help an alcoholic to
stop drinking, which changes his whole life.
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