chapter  3
24 Pages

Social Movements (Trying to Be Interest Groups?)

ByThomas T. Holyoke

Social movements require a grievance that aligns with the dominant social values of the time, organization, and some hope of success to get started, along with broader social support and aid from political leaders in order to succeed. Social movements are both similar to and different from interest groups. Successful social movement organizations change popular assumptions the public and lawmakers have regarding marginalized groups, making it acceptable for lawmakers to help out the interests and integrate them into the political system. The political atmosphere changed in the late 1960s, as popular interest in the collective health of American society returned to center stage. Mass social movements like the Bonus Army can be found all through American history, though the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s is arguably the modern archetype. The Civil Rights Movement is an example of successful organization and coordination.