Social Movements




Acting in unison to bring about or resist social, political, and economic change has characterized societies around the world. To appreciate the history and dynamics of any society, one must understand how large informal groupings of individuals and organizations carry out, resist or undo social change through collective action. This seminar will explore a variety of theories and empirical research on social movements as these represent a means for ordinary people to participate in shaping public policy, the very foundations of their own societies. The course will employ substantive examples of movements for discussion that will include the broadest scope of civil and human rights agendas advanced or opposed by those concerned with such issues as globalization; consumerism; persons of minority status, including women and refugees; labour; poverty; war, armaments and peace; religion; birth and end-of-life decisions; animal rights; and our social and physical environments. Varying types of social movements will be identified at the outset, including alternative, redemptive, reformative and revolutionary social movements. In addition, explanations for collective actions will be examined through a study of varying theories on social movements, including deprivation, mass society, strain, resource mobilization, cultural and political solidarity, and new social movements theory. Through such study, the art of the possible for socio-political activism and change will be discussed by further examining the relative merits of radical, revolutionary versus incremental, evolutionary approaches. That topic will include how tactics of nonviolence versus violence are crucial considerations for social movements and social change. The more abstract aspects of this course will be grounded by giving students the opportunity to explore their own motivations for and against collective action through a select number of experiential exercises in the classroom.


The seminar will consist of a variety of the following methods:

• Lectures

• Weekly in-class presentations

• Weekly writing assignments

• In-class exercises and discussions


Class participation and attendance (15%)

Between-class assignments (10%)

Presentation (25%)

Research paper (25%)

Final exam (25%)

“All the assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade to be assigned. The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (Policy T 10.03).

It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of these policies (available on the SFU website under Administration, SFU Polices
& Procedures).”


none (see note below)

Bantjes, Rod (2007). Social Movements in a Global Context: Canadian Perspectives. Toronto: Canadian Scholars
Goodwin, Jeff & Jasper, James (2003). The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts. Blackwell.
Ruggiero, V. & Montagna, N. (Eds.)(2008). Social Movements: A Reader. Routledge
NOTE: A reading list will be provided from a selected bibliography that will identify required and suggested
reading selected from both the recommended texts above and additional sources. Students are required to select
reading from the list for presentations and their research topic.

I plan to have an online course web site for this course available soon. You will be given details as soon as they
become available.

NOTE: Students need to check the course web site on a regular weekly basis to be certain
all assignments and other pertinent course information is obtained. If you run into any technical problems,
please contact Academic Computing Services at 778-782-3234 option 2 for Help desk.

This is a seminar so your participation in the course is key to your success and that of the course itself. The seminar also requires reading and writing on a fairly intensive basis. Competency in writing for academic purposes is a necessary key to success and your quality of writing will be taken into account in determining your
final course grade. Students who need to develop such skills should consider taking an academic preparation course either before or while taking this course. Contact your student advisor, SFU information services and Student Services for additional guidance and information. Assessment of your work in this course is based on the following:
Participation: Students will be expected to take part in discussions and educational exercises during class time. The course is designed to include interactive work in groups comprised of other students in the class. Hence, attendance is vital for full course credit. Everyone is expected to attend regularly and to participate actively in class and group discussions. Students are expected to contribute to class discussions on a regular basis. Your voice, as your experience is extremely important because through your participation we will learn with and from each other. Attendance is only taken when an in-class exercise is taking place because that is when inter-active learning opportunities occur.
What if I missed a class?

NOTE: If you miss a class session you should consult with a classmate about what took place during that session and any work that might have been assigned in addition to what is on this course outline. (Your instructor does not have the resources to provide individualized, one-on-one information for each student missing a class.)
Between-class assignments:

Your instructor will be giving brief assignments that must be completed for theupcoming session. These assignments usually serve as “tools” to facilitate in-class exercises. If a between-class
assignment is not completed at the time it is used in class, no credit can be given for that. (It can not be “madeup” later because it will not have been used for the in-class exercise on  the assigned date.)
In-class group presentations:

This is a group project. You will be required to work in groups of 3. You are required to establish your groups and select your chapter or book ‘Part’ that will be the essence of your presentation no later than the 3rd class meeting. Select a chapter topic of your choice from the Bantjes book titled Social Movements In a Global Context: Canadian Perspectives or select one question from the Goodwin & Jasper book titled The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts. This information will become the essence of your presentation, permitting students to co-teach this seminar! (Details of what and how to present follow:) At our third class meeting you must have looked over the book topics and written down for yourself the 1st and 2nd choice of a (Bantjes) chapter (excluding ch. 3) or (Goodwin/Jasper) Part (excluding Part I) for your presentation along with the names of the persons in your group. Be sure that each person in your group has adequate contact information for all persons in the group. Bring this with you to class for your own reference.(NOTE: Anyone neglecting to do this will lose 2 points from the total course grade).
You will be asked to write your group’s letter (‘a’ – ‘j’ since there are likely to be 10 groups in the seminar) on the classroom chalkboard with your two choices of your preferences and complete name of each group member. Your instructor will guide you through the selection process at this session to be certain there is no duplication of chapters or Parts, and to assign you a date for your presentation. (We have time for 3 to 4 groups presenting material for each meeting). After the process is completed and you know your topic, you must get together with your copresenters and do the following before leaving the classroom: Complete the sheet of paper you will be given by the instructor which is the final version of the presentation topic with group names, presentation date and presentation order and return it completed to your instructor before leaving.
Your instructor will soon confirm the entire class presentation schedule and convey that to all students.

IMPORTANT: If you decide to drop this course, be sure to notify your co-presenter and
instructor immediately.
When it is your turn to present, follow these guidelines for best results:
The time you have is your opportunity to lead the class? You are in the driver’s seat!
*Have each presenter actively participate in your group
* Summarize what you decide are the most important and interesting aspects of your
chosen material. Mention if and how any of the reviewed social movement theories and
social movement types could help one to understand some of your material.
* Assign the Introduction piece to the class to read the week before your presentation if you are using the Goodwin & Jaspoer book. Assign the class to read your selected Chapter if using the Bantjes book.
* Limit reading from notes and know your material well enough to talk about it. You
may, of course, have some notes for facts and you may use overheads to accompany your
talk, but be sure font is at least 22 point in size for overheads so these can be seen and
don’t just read your presentation from overheads. Demonstrate your critical thinking and
overall knowledge of your topic.
*Deliver your presentation within 45 minutes (Your instructor will be a strict timekeeper!)
You will lose points if you go over time allocated.
*Involve your classmates by asking questions or by any other activity; be creative!
*Prepare a brief outline of your presentation, a copy of which you will give to your
instructor when you start your presentation. Give a brief opening that includes your topic
subject, names of presenters and the main points you will cover in your presentation. In
your closing, repeat the major points of your presentation.
*Be sure to clearly identify sources or references for any facts, opinions or claims youpresent (especially on overheads).
*For illustrations, you should prepare, if possible, examples from the print or electronic
media. This can include anything from hand-outs to video, DVD or CD clips,
information that is online, or segments from a film.
* You have a list of valuable references and videos at your disposal –your
annotated course bibliography. Most of this material is on reserve at the Library. NOTE:
If you decide to use any of the DVD documentaries you must reserve these as far in
advance as possible to be sure they are available when you require them. Let your
instructor know if you have a problem obtaining audio visual material.
*Be familiar with how to use the classroom equipment BEFORE presenting.
*Be familiar with criteria that your instructor uses as measures of your achievements. The
groups that present in week 4 and 5 will receive 3 bonus points because they have less
time to prepare.
Research paper:

This is a formal essay between approximately 8 to 10 pages in length, typed and 1.5 lines
spaced, using American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for your  referencing/citation style. Use one inch margins and a standard font like “Times” or “Arial” size 12 point (or if font is larger such as “Geneva” or “Helvetica” for instance, use a smaller size such as 11 or 10 point.) Please familiarize yourself with APA style referencing well in advance because correct referencing as writing quality counts towards your grade. Details on how to write the Research Paper are provided below (2.1 – 2.4). 4.1)

Instructions regarding Research Paper:

Select what you consider to be a social movement. Using references of your own choosing, you need to briefly describe the movement, its development, its demise (if in your view it shrank or died) its goals, and include some of its strategies. Explain why you think it is a movement. (Refer to handouts if you are at a loss about what a social movement is.)
Discuss also if you believe it met with success or failure, a combination of those, and some reasons for such outcomes. In your discussion, you must also make reference to one or more theoretical approach(es) we have reviewed in this course, demonstrating both that you understand the theory and how it can help one to understand the movement and what you have written about it. All references you use (besides the one(s) you have selected for identifying and describing the movement itself as stated in first bullet item above) should be drawn from the Annotated Bibliography provided for this course.

Suggestion: Use Goodwin and Jasper’s nine questions in The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts as well as the hand-outs given to you at the outset of the course from sociology textbooks to help guide you with your paper.
NOTE: At Week 6 in the course, you are required to turn in a page that identifies your chosen movement and the source(s) you have used as a reference to identify and describe it. Type your name, student number, the course title, date due, and instructor’s name on this page. Failure to do this on time will result in a loss of four points for this assignment.
Papers are due at our 11th meeting (see course schedule for date). Please do not hand in your paper in a special cover or binder. Staple your pages. Four points are deducted for a paper your instructor receives from you between the 11th and 12th meeting and another four points will be deducted for a paper received between the 12th and 13th meeting. No paper will be accepted after the 13th session unless there are compelling grounds due to illness (physician’s note required), compassionate leave (e.g., death in family) or legal obligations (such as jury duty).

How to organize your paper:
Begin your paper by stating what your paper is about and its highlights in a brief introductory paragraph. Example: “This paper is a brief discussion of the LGBT movement in North America, exploring its inception, growth, and a few of its strategies it utilized that account for its successes while facing major challenges. Two theoretical approaches are identified as these are useful in clarifying what is under consideration.” In the body of your paper is where you get into the details of your discussion that you very briefly outlined in the first paragraph(s). You should have a concluding paragraph that highlights the key points of your paper.You must accurately use the APA referencing style. If you are not familiar with this format for referencing, you need to obtain that information. Consult the library or find it on the Internet using your browser.
Writing style:
Assume a formal writing style. You are not just writing a letter to a friend. Look at some examples of academic writing if you are not familiar with such works. For example, avoid contractions such as “isn’t” instead of writing “is not.” Review and edit your paper for coherency, organization, development, correct spelling, syntax and grammar before submitting. (It is often a good idea to make an outline for yourself to help you organize your ideas before you write if you are unfamiliar with writing post-secondary level papers. It may also be helpful to use sub-headings to separate your ideas in your essay instead of a long, drawn-out discussion that is disorganized and repetitive. Break up overly-long paragraphs. Do NOT assume that your reader knows what your paper is about simply because your instructor has assigned this and will read it. Write your paper as if your audience does not have a clue what you are up to.
Besides following the APA guidelines, please adhere to the following expectations: You should have a title page that has your full name, course and section on it, as well as the date you are handing it in. The title of your paper should also appear on the first page of the text of your essay. Be sure to number each page (except title page), and do not exceed 10 pages, including your references.

Final Exam:

This will be a multiple choice, true-false, and matching type of test with between 25 and 50
items lasting between 90 minutes and 2 hours max. that will simply cover the major points we have explored in the course. It will focus on the theoretical approaches that attempt to explain social movements, social movement types, and additional highlights students have presented in our seminar. The test will be given during the SFU exam period.
Grade Calculation for Course

Participation 15% throughout course
Between class assignments 10% throughout course
In-class presentations 25% as assigned during course
Research Paper 25% Identification sheet due at 6th meeting

Completed paper due at 11th meeting
Final exam 25% during exam week
S/A Dep’t. Intervals for assignment of Letter Grade
Conversion Scale Letter Grade Definition

95 – 100 A+ Exceptional achievement
90 – 94 A Outstanding achievement
85 – 89 A- Excellent achievement
80 – 84 B+ Very good achievement
75 – 79 B Good achievement
70 – 74 B- Good achievement
65 – 69 C+ Satisfactory achievement
60 – 64 C Satisfactory achievement
55 – 59 C- Marginal achievement
50 – 54 D Minimal achievement
0 – 49 F Unsatisfactory achievement
Important: “All the assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade to be assigned. The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (Policy T 10.03). It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of these policies (available on the SFU website under Administration, SFU Polices & Procedures).” There are new tools now available to instructors for reviewing your submitted written work that allows for verifying if it is your or someone else’s work. Be forewarned that plagiarism is considered a most serious offense by your instructor and may result in your failing the course. Definitions Cheating, which includes plagiarism, occurs where a student or group of students uses or attempts to use unauthorized aids, assistance, materials or methods. Cheating is a serious educational offense. Plagiarism occurs where a student represents the work or ideas of another person as his or her own. If you fail to reference ideas or use sentences or paragraphs another person has written without informing the reader of your paper, you are plagiarizing.

NOTE: You may NOT submit work you have completed for another current or previous course without first discussing this with instructors for both courses so that a decision can be taken jointly about what part of the work will be evaluated and graded for each course. Failure to notify your instructors about handing in “duplicate” assignments or presentations will be considered as dishonesty on your part and subject to disciplinary measures.
• Assignments should be submitted to me in person. Do NOT slip them under my office door. If necessary, use the assignment drop-off box located on the door to the S/A General Office.

NOTE: Make copies of any written work for yourself or keep your work on disk. You must accept full responsibility for lost work you cannot retrieve if needed. Between class assignments will not count towards your course grade if turned in after the due date because they become instruments to facilitate in-class exercises.  Students are expected to act in a professional manner. Please be attentive and respectful of others when they
are speaking, and keep an open mind toward ideas or opinions that differ from your own.

NOTE: Turn off -or set to vibrate- cell phones and pagers while in class. If you are late, wait for an appropriate moment and enter the room quietly. Wait for the break if you are more than 15 min. late.
• Respect our cleaning staff by not leaving trash on desks or floors! Please reduce, re-use, and recycle whenever
• Class cancellations may occur due to inclement weather or other unforeseen problems. If in doubt, contact the University before you travel up the hill!

NOTE: Readings & between-class exercises are due on the date indicated (not the following meeting).
Topics and dates are flexible to some extent and subject to change based on our needs.
Topics Exercises &Assigned Reading
Week 1 Sep. 4
Course Introduction and Overview
Core concepts and recurring themes
Video: The Sixties: Years That Shaped a Generation
SFU Library orientation in week 1 or 2
Breaking the Ice
Exercise: You and social movements
Post Video Brainstorm

Week 2 Sep. 11
Core concepts and recurring
themes (cont’d)
Due: Completed Student ID forms
with photos attached
Reading: Hand-out from Brym et
al. text on social movements
Chapter 3 in the Rod Bantjes book
Lecture Notes

Week 3 Sep. 18
Core concepts and recurring
themes (conclusion)
Due: Selection of presentation
topic choices
Reading: Hand-out from
Macionnis & Gerber on social
Week 4 Sep. 25
Class cancelled
Ch. 2 in Bantjes book

Week 5 Oct. 2
1st: Craig & Stan lead class on
material in Ch. 1 of Rod Bantjes;
Guest speaker: social activist, radio
producer & MLPC candidate in
Vancouver South, Mr. Charles
Chs. I & 4 in Bantjes book

Week 6 Oct. 9
1st: Yvette, Benedicte & Isabelle
lead class on Ch. 4 Bantjes
2nd: Trevor, Antonio & Kevin to
lead class on Bantjes Ch. 6 material
Reading: Bantjes chs. 5 & 6Due: Sheet identifying your
chosen social movement (incl.
sources) for your research paper.

Week 7 Oct. 16
Isabel Sy., Cara & Nafezia to lead
class on Bantjes ch. 7 material
Reading: Bantjes ch. 7
Exercise: Ourselves, interaction,
and society

Week 8 Oct. 23
1st: Lindsay, Yooji & Tara lead
class on Bantjes ch. 8 material
2nd: Tania, Erica & Elisa lead class
on Bantjes ch. 9 material
Reading: Bantjes chs. 8 & 9

Week 9 Oct. 30
Kristina & Lenny lead class on
Goodwin & Jasper’s Part 4 material
Guest speaker: author, journalist,
Greenpeace co-founder & social
activist, Mr. Rex Wyler
Reading: Goodwin & Jasper, Part
4; Bantjes ch. 11 on coalition

Week 10 Nov. 6
1st Grace, Mona & Venessa lead
class on Goodwin & Jasper’s Part 5
2nd: Kelly, Paola & Brittany to
lead class on Bantjes Ch. 5 material
Reading: Goodwin & Jasper Part 5;
Review Bantjes ch. 5 again

Week 11 Nov. 13
Will, Elena and Aiysha [with
assistance from Juergen] will
propose: The Independent Media
as a Social Movement
Due: Completed research paper
Reading: TBA

Week 12 Nov. 20
Jason, Aaron & Osanna lead class
on Bantjes ch. 12 material
Reading: Bantjes ch. 12

Week 13 Nov. 27
Presentations Reading
No late research papers accepted
after today

NOTE: Final test to be held during exam week. Please consult online SFU information for details
Dr. J. Dankwort SA 321 PAGE 12 / NUMPAGES 12

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