Social Movements in the 20th (and 21st) Century

Grinnell College
Fall 2001
Prof. Marit Berntson


Course Schedule

The course is divided into nine different areas of study. Students are expected to complete the reading assigned for class and come prepared with questions and comments. Browse the course schedule or follow the links below to go to a specific section or week of the semester. The names of students leading discussion for a particular class period are listed in the schedule. Please note that the course schedule is subject to change.

Introduction to the study of social movements
Conflict and breakdown
Political opportunities and structural factors
Organization in social movements
Recruitment and participation
Identity and social movements
Framing processes
Strategies and tactics
Movement decline


Section 1: Introduction to the study of social movements
Aug. 31
  • Introduction to the course
Sept. 3
  • "Introduction" by Costain & McFarland (Costain & McFarland, pp. 1-4)
  • "Preface" and "Introduction" by Freeman & Johnson (Freeman & Johnson, pp. ix-xi, 1-4)
  • "Introduction. Social Movements: Conceptual and Theoretical Issues" by McAdam & Snow (McAdam & Snow, pp. xviii-xxxvi)
Wednesday, Sept. 5
  • "Social Movements and Theories of American Politics" by McFarland (Costain & McFarland, pp. 7-19)
  • "'The Very Excesses of Democracy': State Building and Contentious Politics in America" by Tarrow (Costain & McFarland, pp. 20-38)
Sept. 7
  • "Interest Organizations, Political Parties, and the Study of Democratic Politics" by Burstein (Costain & McFarland, pp. 39-56)
  • "Citizen Groups, Political Parties, and Electoral Coalitions" by Berry & Schildkraut (Costain & McFarland, pp. 136-156)
Section 2: Conflict and breakdown
Sept. 10
  • "Part 1. Conditions of Strain: Conflict and Breakdown" by McAdam & Snow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 2-4)
  • "A Democratic/Structural Model of State Breakdown" by Goldstone (McAdam & Snow, pp. 5-12)
  • "Ethnic Movements and the Competition Model: Some Missing Links" by Belanger & Pinard (McAdam & Snow, pp. 13-22)
Sept. 12
  • "On the Origins of Social Movements" by Freeman (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 7-24)
  • "Disorganization and the New Mexico Prison Riot of 1980" by Useem (McAdam & Snow, pp. 23-33)
Sept. 14
No class

Due: Readings reaction paper #1 (conflict and breakdown) to Carnegie 115 by 4:30 pm
Section 3: Political opportunities and structural factors
Sept. 17
  • "Part 2. Conditions of Conduciveness: Political Opportunities" by McAdam & Snow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 34-36)
  • "New Social Movements and Political Opportunities in Western Europe" by Kriesi, Koopmans, Duyvendak, & Giugni (McAdam & Snow, pp. 52-65)
  • "Structural Opportunity and Perceived Opportunity in Social-Movement Theory: The Iranian Revolution of 1979" by Kurzman (McAdam & Snow, pp. 66-79)
Discussion leader: Justin Stewart-Teitelbaum
Sept. 19
  • "American Social Movements and Presidential Administrations" by Imig (Costain & McFarland, pp. 159-170)
  • "Insurgency of the Powerless: Farm Worker Movements (1946-1972)" by Jenkins & Perrow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 37-51)
Sept. 21
  • "Mobilizing Gay Activists" by Dufour (Costain & McFarland, pp. 59-72)
  • "Use of the Initiative Process by Women Suffrage Movements" by Banaszak (Costain & McFarland, pp. 99-114)
Discussion leader: Patrick Choquette
Sept. 24
  • "On the International Origins of Domestic Political Opportunities" by McAdam (Costain & McFarland, pp. 251-267)
  • "Less than Conquerors: The Christian Right in State Republican Parties" by Green, Guth, & Wilcox (Costain & McFarland, pp. 117-135)
Sept. 25
Special screening of The War at Home, 7:00 - 9:30 pm, ARH 305
Sept. 26

No class

Film #1 - The War at Home to be viewed on Sept. 25 or in the Library's Listening Room before this date

Due: Readings reaction paper #2 to Carnegie 115 by 4:30 pm (political opportunities and structural factors)

Section 4: Organization in social movements
Sept. 28
  • "Part 3. Conditions of Organizations: Facilitative Contexts" by McAdam & Snow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 80-81)
  • "Miners and Agrarian Radicalism" by Petras & Zeitlin (McAdam & Snow, pp. 82-89)
  • "Mobilization at the Margins: Organizing by the Homeless" by Cress & Snow (Costain & McFarland, pp. 73-98
Oct. 1
  • "Black Southern Student Sit-In Movement: An Analysis of Internal Organization" by Morris (McAdam & Snow, pp. 90-109)
  • "Institution Building in the African-American Community, 1931-1954" by McAdam (McAdam & Snow, pp. 110-117)
Discussion leaders: Patrick Choquette
and Leah Oren-Palmer

Due: Film #1 reaction paper

Oct. 3
  • "The Structure of Social Movements: Environmental Activism and Its Opponents" by Gerlach (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 85-97)
  • "AIDS, Anger, and Activism: ACT UP as a Social Movement Organization" by Halcli (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 135-150)
Discussion leaders: Joanna Daniel
and Anita Halfwassen
Oct. 5

Guest speaker: Christian Leffler, Deputy Chief of Staff for Chris Patten, European Commissioner of External Relations, European Union

Click here for Mr. Leffler's bio

Section 5: Recruitment and participation
Oct. 8
  • "The Consequences of Professionalization and Formalization in the Pro-Choice Movement" by Staggenborg (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 99-134, OR McAdam & Snow, pp. 421-439)
  • "Black Radicalization and the Funding of Civil Rights: 1957-1970" by Haines (McAdam & Snow, pp. 440-449)
Discussion leaders: Matt Ewing
and Jancey Wickstrom
Oct. 10
  • "Part 4. Microstructural Factors: Social Networks" by McAdam & Snow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 120-121)
  • "Social Networks and Social Movements: A Microstructural Approach to Differential Recruitment" by Snow, Zurcher, Jr., & Ekland-Olson (McAdam & Snow, pp. 122-132)
  • "Multiple Networks and Mobilization in the Paris Commune, 1871" by Gould (McAdam & Snow, pp. 133-144)
Discussion leaders: Isaiah Shalwitz
and Bridget Barni

Due: Readings reaction paper #3 (organization in social movements)

Thursday, Oct. 11
Special screening of Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, video 1 (Awakenings, 1954-1956) & video 2 (Fighting Back, 1957-1962), 7:00 - 9:30 pm, ARH 102
Oct. 12

Film #2 - Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, video 1 (Awakenings, 1954-1956) & video 2 (Fighting Back, 1957-1962) - to be viewed on Thursday, Oct. 11 or in the Library's Listening Room before this date

  • "Specifying the Relationship between Social Ties and Activism" by McAdam & Paulsen (McAdam & Snow, pp. 145-157)
  • "Conflict Networks and the Origins of Women's Liberation" by Mueller (McAdam & Snow, pp. 158-171)
Oct. 15
  • "Mobilizing the Disabled" by Johnson (Freeman & McFarland, pp. 25-45
  • "Sacrifice for the Cause: Group Processes, Recruitment, and Commitment in a Student Social Movement" by Hirsch (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 47-64, OR McAdam & Snow, pp. 303-311)
  • "Recruiting Intimates, Recruiting Strangers: Building the Contemporary Animal Rights Movement" by Jasper (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 65-82)
Discussion leaders: Anita Halfwassen
and Cynthia Rogalin

Oct. 17
  • "Part 5. Motivational Factors I: Barriers to and Correlates of Participation" by McAdam & Snow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 172-173)
  • "Why Social Movement Sympathizers Don't Participate: Erosion and Nonconversion of Support" by Oegema & Klandermans (McAdam & Snow, pp. 174-189)
  • "Repression, Micromobilization, and Political Protest" by Opp & Roehl (McAdam & Snow, pp. 190-206)
Discussion leader: Leah Oren-Palmer

Due: Film #2 reaction paper

Oct. 19
No class
20 - 28
Oct. 29
  • "'If You Don't Do It, Nobody Else Will': Active and Token Contributors to Local Collective Action" by Oliver (McAdam & Snow, pp. 207-215)
  • "Social Movement Involvement in the Wake of a Nuclear Accident: Activists and Free Riders in the TMI Area" by Walsh & Warland (McAdam & Snow, pp. 216-231)
Discussion leaders: Courtney Prior
and Justin Stewart-Teitelbaum
Section 6: Identity and social movements
Oct. 31
  • "Introduction. Social Psychology and Social Movements: Cloudy Past and Bright Future" by Stryker, Owens, & White (Stryker, Owens & White, pp. 1-17)
  • "Self-Concept as a Force in Social Movement Involvement" by Owens & Aronson (Stryker, Owens & White, pp. 191-214)
Discussion leader: Jancey Wickstrom

Due: Readings reaction paper #4 (recruitment and participation)

Nov. 2
  • "Volition and Belongingness: Social Movements, Volition, Self-Esteem, and the Need to Belong" by Baumeister, Dale & Muraven (Stryker, Owens & White, pp. 239-251)
  • "From Shame to Pride in Identity Politics" by Britt & Heise (Stryker, Owens & White, pp. 252-268)
Discussion leaders: Maya Harrison
and Bridget Barni
Nov. 5
  • "The Spirit Willing: Collective Identity and the Development of the Christian Right" by Green (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 153-168)
  • "Collective Identity in Social Movement Communities: Lesbian Feminist Mobilization" by Taylor & Whittier (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 169-194)
Discussion leader: Ellen Prusinski

Due: One page final paper proposal with five references

Nov. 7
  • "Emotions and Identity in Women's Self-Help Movements" by Taylor (Stryker, Owens & White, pp. 271-299)
  • "Developing Working-Class Feminism: A Biographical Approach to Social Movement Participation" by Roth (Stryker, Ownes & White, pp. 300-323)
Discussion leaders: Cynthia Rogalin
and Jessica Ward
Nov. 9

Film #3 - Showdown in Seattle - to be viewed on Monday, Nov. 5 or in the Library's Listening Room before this date

Due: Readings reaction paper #5 (identity and social movements)

Section 7: Framing processes
Nov. 12
  • "Part 6. Interpretive Factors: Framing Processes" by McAdam & Snow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 232-234)
  • "Frame Alignment Processes, Micromobilization, and Movement Participation" by Snow, Rochford, Jr., Worden & Benford (McAdam & Snow, pp. 235-251)
  • "Women Against the State: Political Opportunities and Collective Action Frames in Chile's Transition to Democracy" by Noonan (McAdam & Snow, pp. 252-267)
Discussion leader: Elena Bakaitis

Due: Film #3 reaction paper

Nov. 14
  • "Understanding the Dialectic of Discourse and Collective Action: Public Debate and Rioting in Antebellum Cincinnati" by Ellingson (McAdam & Snow, pp. 268-280)
  • "The Social Construction of Subversive Evil: The Contemporary Anticult and Anti-Satanism Movements" by Bromley & Cutchin (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 195-218)
Discussion leader: Sarah Jackson
Section 8: Strategies and tactics
Nov. 16
  • "Part 8. Movements in Action: Strategies and Tactics" by McAdam & Snow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 326-327)
  • "Cycles of Collective Action: Between Moments of Madness and the Repertoire of Contention" by Tarrow (McAdam & Snow, pp. 328-339)
  • "Tactical Innovation and the Pace of Insurgency" by McAdam (McAdam & Snow, pp. 340-356)

Discussion leader: Isaiah Shalwitz

Due: Readings reaction paper #6 (framing processes)

Nov. 19
  • "The Success of the Unruly" by Gamson (McAdam & Snow, pp. 357-364)
  • "Civil Disobedience and Protest Cycles" by Meyer (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 267-276)
Discussion leaders: Maya Harrison
and Joanna Daniel

Special screening of A Force More Powerful, Part 1 at 6:30 - 8:00 pm and Part 2 at 8:15 - 9:45 pm in ARH 131.

Wednesday, Nov. 21
No class
22 - 25
Monday, Nov. 26

Film #4 - A Force More Powerful, Part 1 or Part 2 - to be viewed on Monday, Nov. 10 or in the Library's Listening Room before this date

  • "A Model for Analyzing the Strategic Options of Social Movement Organizations" by Freeman (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 221-240)
  • "The Strategic Determinants of a Countermovement: The Emergence and Impact of Operation Rescue Blockades" by Johnson (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 241-265)
Wednesday, Nov. 28
  • "Women Lobby Congress" by Costain (Costain & McFarland, pp. 171-184)
  • "The Environmental Movement and Congress" by Costain & Lester (Costain & McFarland, pp. 185-198)
Discussion leaders: Peter Munyon
and Jessica Ward

Due: Film #4 reaction paper

Nov. 30
Class cancelled
Dec. 3
  • "The Transformation of a Constituency into a Movement Revisited: Farmworker Organizing in California" by Jenkins (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 277-299)
  • "Fighting Back: Vulnerabilities, Blunders, and Countermobilization by the Targets in Three Animal Rights Campaigns" by Jasper & Poulsen (McAdam & Snow, pp. 397-406)
Discussion leaders: Courtney Prior
and Matt Ewing
Wednesday, Dec. 5
  • "Social Movements and the Mobilization of Law" by McCann (Costain & McFarland, pp. 201-215)
  • "Litigation as Rebellion" by Meranto (Costain & McFarland, pp. 216-232)
Dec. 7
  • "Social Movements and Abortion Law" by Woliver (Costain & McFarland, pp. 233-247)
  • "Legal Control of the Southern Civil Rights Movement" by Barkan (McAdam & Snow, pp. 384-396)
Discussion leaders: Sarah Jackson
and Peter Munyon
Section 9: Movement decline
Dec. 10
  • "Factionalism, Group Defection, and Schism in the Hare Krishna Movement" by Rochford, Jr. (McAdam & Snow, pp. 450-460)
  • "The End of SDS and the Emergence of Weathermen: Demise Through Success" by Miller (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 303-324)
Discussion leaders: Elena Bakaitis
and Ellen Prusinski

Due: Readings reaction paper #7 (strategies and tactics)

Dec. 12
  • "The Decline of the Civil Rights Movement" by McAdam (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 325-348)
  • "The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee: The Rise and Fall of a Redemptive Organization" by Stoper (Freeman & Johnson, pp. 349-364
Dec. 14
Last day of class
Dec. 18

Due: Final paper and self-evaluation to Carnegie 115 by 12 pm


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Last modified by Marit Berntson on December 11, 2001

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