WEEK 8

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Please choose one of the following questions:

1.  Chambliss discusses the efforts to revitalize the economically distressed urban core in several major cities.  What are the potential effects of urban renewal and gentrification on the economy and current residents of the neighborhood?  How can urban renewal be balanced with the needs of the residents who may be displaced?  For those who have lived in a city, do you have examples that support or contradict the description of urban renewal from the reading?

2.  Consider what you have learned about collective behavior, social movements, and social change this week. How is the global expansion of social media likely to affect how people pursue social change? How has it done so already? Use specific examples as you analyze social movements, social change, and the media.

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The Week 8 Forum meets the following course objectives:

  • Apply a sociological perspective to the social world.
  • Analyze contemporary social issues using the sociological imagination and use sociological theories and concepts to analyze everyday life.
  • Explain collective behavior, social movements, and social change.

Instructions for all Forums:

Each week, learners will post one initial post per week.  This post must demonstrate comprehension of the course materials, the ability to apply that knowledge in the real world.  Learners will engage with the instructor and peers throughout the learning week.  To motivate engaged discussion, posts are expected to be on time with regular interaction throughout the week.  All posts should demonstrate college level writing skills. To promote vibrant discussion as we would in a face to face classroom, formatted citations and references are not required.  Quotes should not be used at all, or used sparingly.  If you quote a source quotation marks should be used and an APA formatted citation and reference provided.

Points

Exemplary (100%)

Accomplished (85%)

Developing (75%)

Beginning (65%)

Not Participating (0%)

Comprehension of course materials

4

Initial post demonstrates rich comprehension of course materials.  Detailed use of terminology or examples learned in class.  If post includes opinion, it is supported with evaluated evidence.

Initial post demonstrates clear comprehension of course materials.  Use of terminology or examples learned in class. If post includes opinion, it is supported with evaluated evidence.

Initial post demonstrates some comprehension of course materials.  Specific terminology or examples learned in class may be incorrect or incomplete.  Post may include some opinion without evaluated evidence.

Initial post does not demonstrate comprehension of course materials.  Specific terminology or examples learned in class are not included.  Post is opinion based without evaluated evidence.

No posting, post is off topic, post does not meet minimum criteria for demonstrating beginning level of comprehension. Post may be plagiarized, or use a high percentage of quotes that prevent demonstration of student’s comprehension.

Real world application of knowledge

2

Initial post demonstrates that the learner can creatively and uniquely apply the concepts and examples learned in class to a personal or professional experience from their life or to a current event.

Initial post demonstrates that the learner can apply the concepts and examples learned in class to a  personal or professional experience from their life or to a current event.

Initial post does not clearly demonstrate that the learner can apply the concepts and examples learned in class. Unclear link between the concepts and examples learned in class to personal or professional experience or to a current event.

Initial post does not demonstrate that the learner can apply the concepts and examples learned in class. No link to a personal or professional experience or to a current event is made in the post.

No posting, post is off topic, post does not meet minimum criteria for demonstrating beginning level of application. Post may be plagiarized, or use a high percentage of quotes that prevent demonstration of student’s ability to apply comprehension.

Active Forum Engagement and Presence

3

Learner posts 4+ different days in the learning week.

Replies to at least one response from a classmate or instructor on the learner’s initial post to demonstrate the learner is reading and considering classmate responses to their ideas.

Posts two or more 100+ word responses to initial posts of classmates.  Posts motivate group discussion and contributes to the learning community by doing 2+ of the following:

  • offering advice or strategy
  • posing a question,
  • providing an alternative point-of-view,
  • acknowledging similar experiences
  • sharing a resource

Learner posts 3 different days in the learning week.

Posts two 100+ word responses to initial posts of classmates.  Posts motivate group discussion and contribute to the learning community by doing  2+ of the following:

  • offering advice or strategy
  • posing a question,
  • providing an alternative point-of-view,
  • acknowledging similar experiences
  • sharing a resource

Learner posts 2 different days in the learning week.

Posts one 100+ word response to initial post of classmate.  Post motivates group discussion and contributes to the learning community by doing 1 of the following:

  • offering advice or strategy
  • posing a question,
  • providing an alternative point-of-view,
  • acknowledging similar experiences
  • sharing a resource

Learner posts 1 day in the learning week.

Posts one 100+ word response to initial post of classmate.  Post does not clearly motivate group discussion or clearly contribute to the learning community.

Responses do not:

  • offering advice or strategy
  • posing a question,
  • providing an alternative point-of-view,
  • acknowledging similar experiences
  • sharing a resource

Learner posts 1 day in the learning week, or posts are not made during the learning week and therefore do not contribute to or enrich the weekly conversation.

No peer responses are made.  One or more peer responses of low quality (“good job, I agree”) may be made.

Writing skills

1

Post is 250+ words.  All posts reflect widely accepted academic writing protocols like using capital letters, cohesive sentences, and no texting language. Dialogue is also polite and respectful of different points of view.

Post is 250+ words.  The majority of posts reflect widely-accepted academic writing protocols like using capital letters, cohesive sentences, and no texting language. Dialogue is polite and respectful of different points of view.

Post is 175+ words.  The majority of posts reflect widely-accepted academic writing protocols like using capital letters (“I am” not “i am”), cohesive sentences, and no texting language. Dialogue may not be respectful of different points of view.

Post is 150+ words.  The majority of the forum communication ignores widely-accepted academic writing protocols like capital letters, cohesive sentences, and texting; Dialogue may not be respectful of different points of view.

No posting, post is off topic and does not meet minimum criteria for demonstrating beginning level of comprehension.


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WEEK 8
17 POPULATION, URBANIZATION, AND THE ENVIRONMENT © Randy Olson/National Geographic Society/Corbis Media Library CHAPTER 17 Media Library AUDIO    Declining Fertility Rates Urbanization Across 10,000 Years China’s Booming Auto Industry VIDEO    Poor Nation’s Rising Population Global Population Booms and Busts Gentrification ‘Without the Negative’ CQ RESEARCHER    One Child Per Family Policies Global Biodiversity PACIFIC STANDARD MAGAZINE    Demography of Poverty and Migration Regional Planning JOURNAL    Urbanization and Environment Cities are Growing Population Growth in Oil Boomtowns How Population Growth and Urbanization Relate to Global Climate Change.     p.431   IN THIS CHAPTER Global Population Growth Malthus and Marx: How Many People Are Too Many? Urbanization The Local and Global Environment Why Study Population and Environment From a Sociological Perspective?     WHAT DO YOU THINK? 1.   Should we be concerned about global population growth? What are the costs and benefits of a growing global population? 2.   Who should bear the costs of the safe and environmentally sound disposal of the electronic waste generated by the manufacture and use of the gadgets that pervade our lives today? 3.   Are the goals of a sustainable environment and a growing economy irreconcilable? Can we have both? p.432 DEMOGRAPHIC DILEMMA: WHERE ARE THE GIRLS? Narinder Nanu/Stringer/Getty Images   Millions of women are missing from our planet. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA; 2007), “One of the most alarming changes in Asia’s population dynamics in recent decades has been a dramatic increase in the proportion of males within its local populations…. if the continent’s overall sex ratio was the same as elsewhere in the world, in 2005 Asia’s population would have included almost 163 million more women and girls.” Where did they go? How could so many girls and women go missing? What are the sociological roots of this dramatic loss? The missing girls are the result of systematic gender discrimination manifested as a preference for sons. Globally, the natural ratio of male births to female births varies from 104:100 to 106:100. In some Asian countries, however, male births dramatically outpace female births. In China there were 118 male births for every 100 female births in 2011; in Anhui Province the ratio of boys to girls was a dramatic 129:100 in 2010. In Vietnam the ratio is about 111:100, and in India the national ratio is 110:100, though individual states, such as Punjab, record higher figures—in 2008 to 2010, the male-to-female birth ratio in Punjab was 120:100 (UNFPA, 2012, pp. 19–20). In all three countries—China, Vietnam, and India—there has been widespread use of prenatal sex selection: That is, parents learn the sex of their fetus prior to birth and are more likely to opt for an abortion if it is female, particularly if the family already has a girl child (UNFPA, 2012). While sex-selective abortion is illegal in all three countries, enforcement of the prohibition has been difficult and often lax. Since the skewed sex ratio was first documented beginning around the early 1980s, the numbers have balanced out in several of India’s states, thanks in part to central and state government intervention, including implementation of policies to enforce the ban on sex-selective abortions, and initiatives that raise awareness and educate Indian families about problems related to the sex ratio imbalance (UNFPA, 2007). p.433 Reasons for son preference are complex. In India, the preference is driven by a widespread belief that boys have greater economic, social, and religious value for the family. Where a bride’s parents are required to pay dowry to the groom’s family, the costs to a poor (or even middle-class) family can be great; consequently, girls are often seen as economic liabilities (Mutharayappa, Choe, Arnold, & Roy, 1997; Seager, 2003). Even among families who can afford dowries for their daughters (and, paradoxically, dowry sizes have decreased as brides have become more scarce), boys are more highly valued because they pass on the family line, provide old-age security to parents, and are responsible for fulfilling religious traditions such as lighting the pyres at parents’ funerals (International Development Research Centre, n.d.; Mutharayappa et al., 1997). Interestingly, sex selection is more prevalent among affluent urban dwellers in India than among their rural counterparts, though traditional norms are more likely to be associated with the latter. It is significant that members of the urban population are likely to have greater access to medical technologies such as prenatal sex screening. As well, they are likely to want and have fewer children than do rural dwellers, so the perceived urgency of having a son in the first two or three births is more acute (Hvistendahl, 2011). Son preference has important sociological causes and effects on both micro and macro levels. Personal decisions based on economic factors as well as societal and cultural norms are made in individual families, but they have macro-level consequences. Guilmoto (2011) hypothesizes a coming “marriage squeeze” in China and India. He estimates that between 2020 and 2055, unmarried men will outnumber unmarried women in China by as much as 60%, and in India unmarried men will outnumber unmarried women by a similar proportion between 2040 and 2060. The men most likely to be pushed out of the marriage market are the poorest and least educated. An analysis of the Chinese case by Edlund, Hongbin, Junjian, and Junsen (2007) identifies a correlation between the rising imbalance in the sex ratio and the incidence of crimes, including, but not limited to, rape, bride abduction, sex trafficking, and prostitution; the researchers conclude that about one seventh of the rise in crime over 20 years of the increasingly skewed sex ratio could be explained by the phenomenon. To understand phenomena such as rapid or slow population growth, sex ratios that favor males over females, and rising or falling fertility among women, we must take a sociological perspective that melds private lives and public issues. In this chapter we explore demography, a subfield of sociology. Demography is the science of population size, distribution, and composition (Keyfitz, 1993). First, we discuss issues of global population growth and look at the debate on rising population. We also examine issues of urbanization and the growth of megacities around the world. Finally, we turn to the global environment and address some of the ways in which the dual pressures of population growth and urbanization are affecting our planet. Reuters/Rafiquar Rahman Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is one of Asia’s rapidly growing cities. While urbanization is a key characteristic of modernity, it also brings new health, cultural, political, and economic challenges. While the three key topics addressed in this chapter are diverse, they share an important common thread: As we noted in the introductory discussion of son preference, individual choices add up to phenomena that can have powerful wider impacts. Any individual family may exercise a preference for a son or for seven children rather than one, just as any individual family may opt to move to a city to seek better economic fortune or may decide to buy a large sport utility vehicle rather than a fuel-efficient automobile. What appears at the micro level as an individual decision with direct effects only on a particular family can add up to macro-level phenomena with national or global effects and consequences. GLOBAL POPULATION GROWTH The world’s population is growing at a rapid rate, expanding as much since 1950 as it did in the preceding 4 million years. By 1850, global population reached 1 billion; by 1950, it was 2.3 billion. As of 2012, it had reached more than 7 billion (Figure 17.1). Poor Nation’s Rising Population CLICK TO SHOW p.434 FIGURE 17.1 Estimated World Population Growth, 1950–2100 SOURCE: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. (2011). World population prospects: The 2010 revision, highlights and advance tables (Working Paper ESA/P/WP.220). New York: Author.   Population growth is highly uneven around the world, with the greatest expansion taking place in developing countries. Consider that about half of the increase in global population between 2010 and 2050 is projected to take place in just nine countries, all but one of which are in the developing world: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the United States, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, China, and Bangladesh. In the United States, most population growth will take place as a result of immigration; elsewhere, it will be the product of natural population increase—that is, it will result from births outpacing deaths. While the global total fertility rate (TFR)—the average number of births per woman, as noted in Chapter 8—was 2.4 in 2012, TFR differed substantially across countries and regions. In reporting TFR, the Population Reference Bureau distinguishes among “more developed countries,” “less developed countries,” and “least developed countries.” In the more developed countries in 2013, the TFR was 1.6, in less developed countries it was 2.6 (3.0 when China is excluded), and in the least developed countries it was 4.4 (Population Reference Bureau, 2013, p. 7; Table 17.1). Replacement rate fertility—that is, the rate at which two parents are just replacing themselves—is represented by a TFR of 2.1 (with an allowance of risk for mortality in the fraction above 2.0). Below this rate, populations decline; above it, they grow. Central Africa, which comprises mainly less developed and least developed countries, is the fastest-growing region in the world. Its population is expected to grow 129% between 2010 and 2050, whereas South America’s population is estimated to rise 23% in the same period, and Western Europe’s will grow by only 0.5%. Other regions will lose population, including Eastern Europe, where the population is expected to decrease 14% by 2050, due in large part to below-replacement-level fertility rates (Population Reference Bureau, 2010; Table 17.2). China and India, the world’s most populous countries, present interesting cases for a discussion of population growth. China and India both have more than 1 billion inhabitants and high population momentum, which is the tendency of population growth to continue beyond the point when replacement rate fertility has been achieved because of the high concentration of people of childbearing age. China has sought to check its population growth with a one-child policy, which has slowed its rate of growth and put its total fertility rate below replacement rate (1.5). India’s population growth has also declined markedly over time (today the TFR is 2.4), but the nation’s population momentum remains high (Population Reference Bureau, 2013).   TABLE 17.1   Total Fertility Rates for Selected Countries, 2013 SOURCE: Population Reference Bureau (2013). 2013 world population data sheet. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/pdf13/2013-population-data-sheet_eng.pdf. p.435 TABLE 17.2   Projected Population Growth for Global Regions, 2025 and 2050 SOURCE: Population Reference Bureau. (2012). 2012 world population data sheet. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/pdf12/2012-population-data-sheet_eng.pdf.   To the east of China is Japan, which, like its close neighbor Russia and distant neighbors in Eastern and Western Europe, is also experiencing population decline: It has a TFR of 1.6 and is expected to see a 25% population drop (unless, of course, the difference is made up by increased immigration). Russia, currently one of the world’s most populous countries, has a TFR of 1.6 and is also expected to lose population by midcentury (Central Intelligence Agency, 2012). While some developing countries struggle with rapid population growth because it puts a strain on basic services like sanitation and education, as well as on the conservation of natural resources, many modern industrialized countries are lamenting a “birth dearth” that leaves aging populations dependent for their social welfare (in the form of public retirement benefits, for instance) on the financial contributions of fewer young workers. One Child Per Family Policies CLICK TO SHOW p.436 Reuters/Sebastien Pirlet Imagine a pond with a single waterlily that doubles in size each day and covers the entire pond in 30 days. On what day does it cover just half the pond? The answer gives us a way of thinking about how population momentum drives rising population sizes, even given a constant growth rate. The answer can be found at the end of the chapter on page 459. (Edward O. Wilson, “Is Humanity Suicidal? New York Times Magazine, May 30, 1993.) DEMOGRAPHY AND DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS Demographers have developed statistical techniques for predicting future population levels on the basis of current characteristics. Annual population growth or decline in a country is the result of four factors: (1) the number of people born in the country during the year, (2) the number who die, (3) the number who immigrate into the country, and (4) the number who emigrate out. In the language of demographers, population changes are based on fertility, or live births; mortality, or deaths; and net migration, which is in-migration minus out-migration. Let’s look at fertility first. Demographers estimate future fertility on the basis of past fertility patterns of women of childbearing age. Although it is possible to make a rough estimate of population growth on the basis of crude birthrate—the number of births each year per 1,000 women—a far more accurate measure is age-specific fertility rate, or the number of births typical for women of a specific age in a particular population. Demographers divide women into 5-year cohorts—for example, women ages 15 to 19, 20 to 24, 25 to 29, and so on. If the current average number of live births per 1,000 women is known for each of these age groups, it is relatively easy to project future fertility. Five years from now, for example, today’s 15- to 19-year-old women will be 20 to 24, which means that the fertility rates of today’s 20- to 24-year-old women can be applied to them. In this way, each successive cohort of women can be “aged” at 5-year intervals, and the result is an estimate of total live births. Since fertility rates in most cultures peak during women’s late teens and 20s, the largest number of babies will be born to women in these age groups; thereafter, as the cohort ages into the 30s and 40s, the total number of babies born to the group will decline, dropping to zero as the cohort ages out of childbearing altogether. The second source of population change is mortality. Again, although crude death rate—the number of deaths each year per 1,000 people—yields a rough measure, demographers prefer to rely on age-specific mortality rate, or an estimate of the number of deaths typical in men and women of specific ages in a particular population. Like age-specific fertility rates, these rates are then applied to successive cohorts of men and women as they age. As you might guess, female mortality rates also affect the number of babies born, since as a cohort of females ages, some of its members will die, leaving fewer women of childbearing age. While in industrialized regions such as Western Europe most women live well beyond their childbearing years, female mortality rates in younger cohorts may have notable effects on birthrates in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, where AIDS kills many such women. One measure of the overall mortality of a society is its life expectancy, the average number of years a newborn is expected to live based on existing health conditions in the country. In almost all societies, the life expectancy at birth is higher for females than for males. In the United States, for example, in 2010 the average life expectancy for females was 80 years, while for males it was 75. In some countries of Eastern Europe, the gap between male and female life expectancy is as much as 12 years (Population Reference Bureau, 2010). Some of this gap is attributable to the fact that males are more likely than females to die in early childhood, to die from accidents or violence in young adulthood, and to experience early death from poor health in middle to later life. Life expectancy in general varies enormously among countries of the world (Table 17.3). Japan ranks highest among all countries in terms of life expectancy (83 years), while the African country of Swaziland ranks very low, with a life expectancy at birth of just 48 years (Swaziland has an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate [among adults aged 15–49] of 26%; Population Reference Bureau, 2011, 2012). p.437 TABLE 17.3   Life Expectancy at Birth for Selected Countries, 2013 SOURCE: Population Reference Bureau. (2013). 2013 world population data sheet. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/pdf13/2013-population-data-sheet_eng.pdf.   It is difficult to make predictions about population growth with precision because such predictions depend on assumptions about human behavior. If a government is effective in implementing family planning programs, for example, the fertility of the population may differ substantially after a decade or two. An unforeseen epidemic (on a scale such as that of AIDS) may greatly increase mortality; conversely, the development of new drugs (such as new antibiotics or a cure for AIDS) could greatly reduce it. For this reason, demographers typically offer a range of estimates of future populations: a low estimate that assumes high mortality and low fertility; a high estimate that assumes low mortality and high fertility; and an intermediate estimate that represents an informed figure somewhere in between. Population forecasting also depends on fertility, but, again, momentum is critical. In 1979, China decided to limit fertility by rewarding one-child families with additional income and preferential treatment in terms of jobs, housing, health care, and education, while threatening punishment for those who refused to keep their families small. This policy reduced China’s TFR to 1.5. Yet this reduction does not mean China’s population will decline markedly from the 1.35 billion people it reached in 2012. With about 18% of its population under the age of 15—nearing childbearing years—China has a substantial amount of population momentum. According to the Population Reference Bureau (2012), its population will grow to about 1.4 billion in 2025 before likely falling to 1.31 billion by 2050. THEORY OF THE FIRST DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION Extrapolating from the Western model of population change, demographers have argued that many societies go through roughly the same stages of population transition. They suggest that societies begin with an extended stage of low or no growth resulting from high fertility and equally high mortality, pass through a transitional stage of explosive growth resulting from high fertility and low mortality, and end up in a final stage of slow or no growth resulting from low fertility and low mortality (Figure 17.2). This perspective on population change is called the theory of the first demographic transition. We outline this transition in more detail below. Early agricultural societies had high fertility and mortality rates that generally counterbalanced one another. Consequently, the population was either stable or grew very slowly. Crude death rates as high as 50 per 1,000 were caused by harsh living conditions, unstable food supplies, poor medical care, and lack of disease control. Epidemics, famines, and wars produced high rates of death, periodically reducing the population even more dramatically. Such societies had to develop strong norms and institutions in support of high fertility to prevent a decline in population. Children were valued for a variety of cultural and economic reasons, particularly where they made contributions to hunting, farming, herding, weaving, and the other work necessary in a household-based economy (Simon, 1981). Deshakalyan Chowdhury / Stringer/Getty Images About a third of India’s 1.27 billion people are under 15, representing momentum for future population growth, even if family planning leads to smaller cohorts in the future. But son preference skews sex ratios at birth in some regions, which may affect the number of future mothers. As societies modernized (that is, became more urban and industrial), their birthrates initially remained high. At the same time, mortality rates plummeted due to improved food supplies brought about by growing trade links, sanitation control that accompanied greater public health knowledge and prosperity, and, eventually, modern medicine. Consider, for instance, the discovery that hand washing is important for doctors attending women giving birth. While this does not sound revolutionary today, it had a critical impact on maternal and child survival. In the 19th century, women in Europe and the United States had stunning rates of maternal mortality: Up to 25% of women delivering babies at hospitals died from puerperal sepsis, also known as childbed fever. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, a Viennese physician practicing in the 1840s, observed this phenomenon and recommended that attending physicians wash their hands with a chlorinated solution before assisting in childbirth. Semmelweis and his findings were harshly criticized, and he was ostracized for speaking out; his medical colleagues, nearly all of whom hailed from the upper classes, did not believe that gentlemen (even those attending a birth after dissecting a cadaver) could have dirty hands. As support for germ theory spread, however, Semmelweis’s discovery proved to be critically important for the reduction of maternal mortality (Nuland, 2003). Demography of Poverty and Migration CLICK TO SHOW p.438 FIGURE 17.2 The First Demographic Transition Model in Four Stages   Because people did not initially change their fertility behavior—specifically, they did not stop having many children—as death rates dropped, the result was rapid population growth. Eventually, however, expanding industrialization and urbanization brought about a fall in fertility. Although during the early stages of industrialization children often worked in factories and contributed to family income, the hardships of child labor eventually led to its legal prohibition. Rather than being an economic necessity, then, children became an expense. Urban living was also less amenable to large families than rural life had been. Population growth stabilized as low mortality came to be matched by falling fertility. At this point, the first demographic transition in the industrialized societies of the West was complete. The theory of the first demographic transition offers a useful perspective based on a pattern observed in Western countries. We can critique it, however, for the same reason; that is, it describes the historical experience of today’s modern Western societies. It does not describe nearly as well the experience of the developing world, which accounts for most global population growth today. In newly industrializing low-income countries, families do not always drastically reduce their fertility. And many low-income nations have not industrialized, yet their mortality rates have declined because populations have access to food, medicine (particularly antibiotics), agricultural and sanitation technologies, and pesticides, which contribute to better health and longer lives. Drops in mortality, however, have not been accompanied by drops in fertility as in modern industrialized states, where decreased fertility stemmed from economic growth, urbanization, industrialization, and expanded educational opportunities. © Heritage Images/Corbis Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis observed higher maternal mortality in Clinic 1 of his hospital, staffed by male obstetricians who performed autopsies, than in Clinic 2, staffed by female midwives who did not. Chlorine washing of male birth attendants’ hands reduced maternal mortality until 1850, when Semmelweis left the hospital and old practices resumed. High fertility combined with low (or relatively low) mortality underlies much of the population explosion in the developing world. Fertility remains high in poor countries for a number of reasons, including health and culture. For instance, families in regions that still experience high child mortality are more likely to have “extra” children to ensure that some survive, and notions about the “ideal” size of families are culturally variable. Economic factors also shape fertility decisions. Consider the relationship between economic rationality and childbearing. The saying “Children are a poor man’s riches” highlights the fact that in agricultural societies in particular, children (specifically male children) are a value more than a cost. In rich and industrialized countries, children, while emotionally valued, are economically costly and contribute little or nothing to the household in terms of economic value. Economic rationality, then, is present in both the decision of a poor household in the developing world to have many children and the decision of a rich household in the developed world to have few. p.439 ullstein bild / The Granger Collection, NYC — All rights With the assistance of international organizations, Afghanistan has sought to increase the number of girls with access to schooling, but poverty and the cultural priority given to boys’ education have kept female literacy low, and few women work in the paid labor force. At 5.4 children per woman, Afghanistan’s total fertility rate remains among the world’s highest. One of the most important factors contributing to both reduced fertility and improved child survival is the education of women (Figure 17.3). According to a recent study, for every 1-year increase in the average education of women in their childbearing years, a country experienced a 9.5% fall in child mortality (Gakidou, Cowling, Lozano, & Murray, 2010). Women who are more educated are more likely to be familiar with family planning methods and more likely to use them. Better-educated women are also more likely to have jobs in the formal labor force and, consequently, to limit their fertility in order to bring in economic resources. Finally, women with some economic resources also tend to have more decision-making power in the family, allowing them to participate in making choices about birth control and family size (United Nations, 1995). Better health services for children and declining infant and child mortality also have important effects on fertility decisions. When women have reason to believe that all or most of their offspring will survive into adulthood, they are less likely to have “extra” children to ensure that a few survive (Kibirige, 1997). Developed countries and the governments of some high-fertility countries have helped finance family planning programs in order to educate people about birth control. In addition, they have provided residents with condoms, birth control pills, and other means of reducing fertility. While such programs have met with some success, they often run up against deep-seated religious and other cultural values, some of which are found in the developed states as well. For instance, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the presidencies of both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, U.S. governmental funding of family planning programs abroad was cut significantly because birth control (and especially abortion) violated the beliefs of conservative supporters of those administrations. It is clear that global efforts in family planning are fraught with problems. It remains to be seen whether they will ultimately succeed in reducing fertility (and hence global population growth).   FIGURE 17.3 Relationship Between Fertility and Female Education (Scattergram of Countries) SOURCE: European Environment Agency. (2012). Correlation between fertility and female education. Retrieved from http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/correlation-between-fertility-and-female-education.   IS A SECOND DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION OCCURRING IN THE WEST? In the theory of the first demographic transition, population reaches a point of stabilization in Stage 4. What happens after that? Some demographers argue that at least in the most developed countries, stabilization has been followed by a second demographic transition (Lesthaeghe, 1995; McNicoll, 2001) characterized by broad changes in family patterns. Countries experiencing a second demographic transition may be characterized by increased rates of divorce and cohabitation, for instance, as well as decreased rates of marriage and fertility and a rise of nonmarital births as a proportion of all births. According to some demographers, Germany, France, and Sweden are among the countries experiencing a second demographic transition. Because changes in family patterns are associated with smaller families, the second demographic transition often includes a decline in the population’s rate of natural increase (RNI)—that is, the crude birthrate minus the crude death rate. Declining Fertility Rates CLICK TO SHOW Global Population Booms and Busts CLICK TO SHOW p.440 If a country has a negative RNI, this can lead to population declines. Russia, for example, is experiencing relatively rapid loss of population: People are dying at a faster rate than they are being born, and Russia can expect to see a population loss of about 10% through the middle of the century (Population Reference Bureau, 2010). The result is an inverted age pyramid, wider at the top and narrower at the bottom (Figure 17.4). Some countries with a negative RNI, however, still experience growing populations as a result of immigration. By contrast, countries with above-replacement-level fertility rates and growing populations have “normal” pyramids, such as that for Mexico shown in Figure 17.4. What accounts for the second demographic transition? Demographer Ron Lesthaeghe (1995) argues that “the motivations underlying the ‘second transition’ are clearly different from those supporting the ‘first transition,’ with individual autonomy and female emancipation more central to the second than to the first” (p. 18). According to this perspective, more people associate personal satisfaction with consumption and personal fulfillment and are not as likely to seek fulfillment through family relationships. Female emancipation has also been broadened by the medical evolution of the “perfectly contracepting society” (Westoff & Ryder, 1977), such that women have unprecedented control over their fertility, and many have chosen smaller families or have opted not to have children.   FIGURE 17.4 Population Pyramids for Russia and Mexico, 2012 SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau International Database.   Critics suggest that the second transition describes only a fraction of the world’s population. However, the number of countries experiencing below-replacement birthrates is rising, and a sociological and demographic perspective such as the theory of the second transition offers sociologists analytical tools for understanding these key trends in advanced industrial states. p.441 MALTHUS AND MARX: HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE TOO MANY? High rates of population growth in some parts of the world may seem daunting, even alarming to some, but numbers alone do not tell the entire story. There is still a great deal of sparsely settled land in the world, and if the planet’s 7 billion people were all somehow transplanted to the territory of the United States, the resulting crowding would be no greater than currently exists in the country of Taiwan. Is the world overpopulated? This question is the subject of debate. On one side are those who predict catastrophe if population growth is not slowed or stopped altogether. Activists who fear that a population doomsday is just around the corner often conclude that drastic measures are required, including stringent public policies that promote small families. On the other side are those who argue that while population growth should be slowed, extreme measures are unwarranted. They tend to favor expanded female education, voluntary family planning programs (though some groups object to contraception as well as abortion), and economic policies that raise living standards, making smaller families a more rational economic choice. MALTHUS: OVERPOPULATION AND NATURAL LIMITS The argument that the world is overpopulated was first made two centuries ago by British social philosopher Thomas Malthus (1766–1834). Malthus (1798/1926) developed the theory of exponential population growth: the belief that, like compound interest, a constant rate of population growth produces a population that grows by an increasing amount with each passing year. Exponential population growth, thus, refers to a constant growth rate that is applied to a base that is continuously growing in size. Malthus also posited that although population grows exponentially, the food supply does not; the earth’s resources are finite. Consequently, though the population may continue to double, the amount of food is more likely to grow at a constant rate. The result, according to Malthus’s dire warning, is a growing mismatch between population and food resources. Unless we take steps to control our population growth, Malthus predicted, nature will do it for us: Wars fought over scarce resources, epidemics, and famine will keep population in check. Back when only a billion people occupied the entire planet, Malthus believed doomsday was already on the horizon. How accurate was Malthus’s prediction? Although war, epidemic, and famine have in fact been sadly evident throughout human history, and population has continued to grow exponentially, the food supply has grown along with it. Malthus failed to recognize that modern technology can also be applied to agriculture, yielding an exponential growth in food supplies—at least for a time. A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2009) concludes that although the world’s population may reach 9.1 billion by 2050, “the required increase in food production can be achieved if the necessary investment is undertaken and policies conducive to agricultural production are put in place,” along with “policies to enhance access by fighting poverty, especially in rural areas, as well as effective safety net programmes” (p. 2). Although Malthus’s predictions of global catastrophe have not been borne out, there may be a limit to the carrying capacity of the planet. World population cannot continue rapid growth indefinitely without consequences. Yet to point out that population growth presents serious challenges is not the same as concluding that the limits have been reached. Despite Malthus’s pessimistic prophecies and Paul Ehrlich’s dire warnings in The Population Bomb (1968), the long-predicted population doomsday has yet to arrive. In fact, the connection between population growth and human misery appears to be more complicated than many analyses have suggested. The issue is not simply how much additional food will be required to feed more mouths, but also whether the food that is produced will reach those who need it. Mass hunger in many countries is as much a product of politics as of true lack of food; in civil conflicts, for instance, hunger may be used as a weapon, with opposing forces blocking food shipments to enemy areas. SIMON: A MODERN CRITIC TAKES ON MALTHUS Economist Julian Simon (1977, 2000) became well-known for his pointedly anti-Malthusian perspective on population. Simon not only rejected the notion that unchecked population growth would lead humanity down a path to hunger, deprivation, and poverty but also posited precisely the opposite. He argued that population growth has positive economic effects. In his most recent work, published posthumously, Simon (2000) suggested that sudden modern progress (SMP)—the rapid rise in living standards and technology—is the result of population growth and density. Put another way, the great population growth of the modern period was a causal factor of “the great breakthrough” (which is also the title of his book)—that is, population growth brings about technological progress. More people means more minds and more innovation, so human-generated resources, Simon argued, can overcome limitations on natural resources. Unlike Malthus, Simon was encouraged rather than daunted by the prospect of rising populations. Indeed, the question of whether more minds can balance the pressure caused by more bodies is an engaging and imperative one. Can population growth be both problematic and powerful? What do you think? p.442 DESIGN PICS INC/National Geographic Creativ Only India and China have reached the 1 billion population mark. While its large population strains the country’s resources, India has also experienced steady economic growth and gains in education and innovation. One of the results is a growing middle class with rising incomes (Ablett et al., 2007). MARX: OVERPOPULATION OR MALDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH? Malthus forecast misery and inevitable overpopulation under conditions of growth. Simon saw population growth and density as necessary conditions for economic progress. Karl Marx focused on the unequal distribution of resources across populations. Marx was concerned about the dominance of an economic system that enables the wealthy few to consume the world’s resources at the expense of the impoverished masses. He was critical of Malthus for claiming that overpopulation is the central cause of human starvation and misery. In Marx’s (1867/1992a) view, the central problem is not a mismatch between population size and resource availability, but rather the unequal distribution of resources; in most societies, as well as in the world as a whole, he argued, the members of a small elite enjoy the lion’s share of the wealth and resources while the majority are left to take up the crumbs that fall from the richly endowed tables of the few. Parente (2008) notes that even after adjustments are made for differences in relative prices and gross domestic product per capita, the living standards in the wealthiest industrial countries are about 50 to 60 times greater than those in the world’s poorest countries. Most of the world’s resources and goods are consumed by the West: Western Europe and North America, with 12% of the world’s population, account for 60% of private consumption expenditures. In contrast, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which together are home to more than one-third of humanity, account for just over 3% of private consumer expenditures. At the beginning of the new millennium, about two fifths of the earth’s inhabitants lived on less than $2 per day (Worldwatch Institute, 2011). Marx argued that such maldistribution is the result of a capitalist economic system that divides people into unequal social classes. Both Malthus and Marx were writing when the world’s population was only around 1 billion people. Marx’s criticism of Malthus has stood the test of time, since world population has doubled and more than doubled again since Malthus’s predictions were made, but global resources have not run dry. Looking critically at Marx’s ideas, we might note that although the maldistribution of wealth is an important factor in understanding poverty and human misery, Marx underestimated the importance of population growth itself as a variable. MALTHUS, MARX, AND MODERNITY Consider this question: What is the greater threat to the health and survival of our global environment—the rapid growth of the populations of the developing world or the overconsumption of resources by the small stratum of the wealthy? While some policy makers in the West express concern about the threats posed by unchecked population growth or the use of “dirty” technologies in developing states or the decimation of rain forests in the Amazon and elsewhere, there is little vigorous mainstream debate over the global threat presented by the recklessly wasteful consumption of resources by Western consumers. To cite just one example of the way Western consumption is masked by a focus on the global poor: Broad media attention has been given to the millions of acres of rain forest lost to clear-cutting in poor states, not least because of the immense biodiversity that has been sacrificed. Many in the United States have donated money to campaigns aimed at saving these precious resources. At the same time, heedless U.S. consumers of steaks, burgers, and other beef products may not recognize that some of the clear-cutting is done by ranchers seeking land on which to farm cattle, the meat from which will be sent to our supermarkets, restaurants, and dinner tables. The question of whether overpopulation or overconsumption is the greater threat is a provocative one. Neither phenomenon is without consequences. Malthus feared that population would outpace food production; Marx posited that elites would consume far more than their share. A modern take on this debate points us to the conflict between underdevelopment in some states and “overdevelopment” in others. As we shall see later in this chapter, environmental stresses have grown substantially since Malthus’s and Marx’s time, and some scientists believe we are approaching a point of no return in inflicting environmental damage on the planet. While overconsumption presents threats to our future, the consequences of the population explosion must also be faced. Since much of the world’s population increase is currently concentrated in urban areas, we will next examine the impact of urbanization on modern life before turning to the environmental effects of urbanization and population growth combined. p.443 Leemage / Contributor/Getty Images/ © Burstein Collection/CORBIS Like all global cities, Paris has long been a city of contrasts. In a single city, one finds extremes of wealth and poverty, as well as leisure and struggle. URBANIZATION What is a city? Do you find it easy or difficult to come up with a definition? Early urban sociologist Louis Wirth (1938) wrote that “a sociologically significant definition of the city seeks to select those elements of urbanism which mark it as a distinctive mode of human group life” (p. 4). For sociological purposes, and thus for ours too, Wirth’s definition is useful: A city is “a relatively large, dense, and permanent settlement of socially heterogeneous individuals” (p. 8). In the eyes of some literary writers, cities are grim places of human degradation and misery. In the 19th-century poem “The City of Dreadful Night,” James Thomson (1874) describes such a place: That city’s atmosphere is dark and dense, Although not many exiles wander there, With many a potent evil influence, Each adding poison to the poisoned air; Infections of unalterable sadness, Infections of incalculable madness, Infections of incurable despair. Other writers have praised the modernity, power, and culture of the city, while still others have recognized the contradictions of cities, their beautiful madness, their inhabitants’ paradoxical excitement and indifference, and their ability to both attract and repel. Honoré de Balzac wrote of the inhabitants of Paris in 1833: By dint of taking in everything, the Parisian ends by being interested in nothing. No emotion dominating his face, which friction has rubbed away, it turns gray like the faces of those houses upon which all kinds of dust and smoke have blown…. [The Parisian] grumbles at everything, consoles himself for everything, jests at everything, forgets, desires, and tastes everything, seizes all with passion, quits all with indifference—his kings, his conquests, his glory, his idols of bronze or glass—as he throws away his stockings, his hats, and his fortune. In Paris, no sentiment can withstand the drift of things. The city is a place of kings and presidents, as it is a place of thugs and beggars. It is lovely and disgusting, wealthy and poor, rewarding and despairing. Cities have become part of our lives and lore, but they were not always so. Cities have a long history, but until the Industrial Revolution, most people were rural dwellers. Today, most of the world’s people live in cities and embody the beauties, miseries, and contradictions of those places. Below we turn a sociological lens on the cities of the United States and the world. THE RISE OF INDUSTRY AND EARLY CITIES Preindustrial cities, based on both agriculture and trade, first appeared 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. The development of settled agricultural areas enabled farmers to produce an agricultural surplus, food beyond the amount required for immediate survival. This surplus in turn made it possible for cities to sustain populations in which residents were not engaged primarily in farming. The first known cities were small, their populations seldom exceeding a few thousand, since the surplus production of 10 or more farmers was required to support a single nonfarming city dweller. The need for access to transportation routes and rich soil for farming figured prominently in the siting of the earliest cities along major river systems (Hosken, 1993). Early city residents included government officials, priests, handicraft workers, and others specializing in nonagricultural occupations, although many city dwellers engaged in some farming as well. Until modern times, very few cities in the world surpassed 100,000 people. More than 2,000 years ago, Rome was considered an enormous metropolis with 800,000 people; today it would be comparable in population to a U.S. city such as San Francisco (Mumford, 1961). Urbanization and Environment CLICK TO SHOW p.444 The Industrial Revolution of the 18th century radically changed the nature of cities. While cities of the past had served primarily as centers of trade, industrial cities now emerged as centers of manufacturing. Although some of the earliest English factories were in smaller cities, by the 19th century industrialization was moving hand in hand with urbanization, the concentration of people in urban areas. At the beginning of the 19th century there were barely 100 places in England with more than 5,000 inhabitants; by the end of the century there were more than 600, together containing more than 20 million people. The city of London grew from 1.1 million to 7.3 million people between 1800 and 1910 (Hosken, 1993), becoming a center of industry as well as an ever more important hub of commerce and culture. In the United States as well, the explosion of cities coincided with the onset of industrialization at the end of the 19th century. By the early 20th century, most U.S. citizens could be classified as urban, and today, as in Britain and other Western European industrial states, the vast majority live in metropolitan areas. SOCIOLOGISTS AND THE CITY The early industrial cities were grimy places in which people lived in shanties and shacks, often in the shadows of the factories where they spent more than a dozen working hours each day. In the absence of proper sanitation and sewage systems, illness and epidemics were common, and many people died of typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and tuberculosis. Writers such as Charles Dickens captured the miseries of early urban industrial life, where men, women, and children toiled in dank, squalid conditions and lived lives of deprivation and degradation. Early sociologists too turned their lenses on the city, some viewing urban life as bordering on the pathological. At the same time, most recognized that cities provided opportunities for individuality and creativity. During the rapid urbanization of the 19th century, some of the earliest sociologists worried about the differences between a presumably serene country life and the “death and decay” of city life (Toennies, 1887/1963). The rural community (Gemeinschaft in the original German) was contrasted with urban society (Gesellschaft), much to the disadvantage of the latter. Rural community life was said to be characterized by intimate relationships, a strong sense of family, powerful folkways and mores, and stabilizing religious foundations. Urban life, by contrast, was believed to be characterized by impersonal and materially based relationships, family breakdown, and the erosion of traditional beliefs and religious values. The behavior of city dwellers was viewed as governed no longer by long-standing folkways and mores, but by cold cost-benefit calculations, individual preferences rather than group norms, and ever-changing public opinion. While alienation was assumed to be a product of this chilly urban world, Émile Durkheim put forth the notion that the mechanical solidarity of traditional community life (based on homogeneity) could be replaced by the organic solidarity of modern societies, with complex divisions of labor in which people were heterogeneous but interdependent for survival and prosperity. During the 1920s and 1930s, researchers at the University of Chicago turned their city into a vast laboratory for urban studies, pioneering urban sociology as a field. Early 20th-century U.S. sociology centered on the study of “social problems” such as hoboes, the mentally ill, juvenile delinquents, criminals, prostitutes, and others who were seen as casualties of urban living. Urbanism was believed to be a specific way of life that resulted from the geographic concentration of large numbers of socially diverse people (see the Inequality Matters box on page 445). Sociologists believed one feature of this life was a good deal of mutual mistrust, leading city residents to segregate themselves on the basis of race, ethnicity, class, and even lifestyle into neighborhoods of like-minded people (Wirth, 1938). Of course, as we saw in our discussion of race in Chapter 9, self-segregation should be distinguished from imposed segregation that is the result of individual or institutional racism. Although early sociologists often linked city life with pathology, even in supposedly impersonal cities people maintain intense social networks and close personal ties. Numerous sociological studies have found that significant community relationships persist within even the largest cities (Duneier, 1992; Fischer, 1982, 1984; Gans, 1962a, 1962b; Liebow, 1967; Whyte, 1943; Wirth, 1928). Physical characteristics such as size and density do not by themselves account for urban problems. What is important is the way a particular society organizes itself in cities. Below we look at the case of cities in the United States. p.445 INEQUALITY MATTERS THE GEOMETRY OF THE CITY Among the important early urban sociologists at the University of Chicago was Ernest Burgess (1886–1966). Burgess (1925) developed the concentric zone hypothesis in part to explain how different social groups come to be distributed across urban spaces. It suggests that sociological factors, including socioeconomic class, are relevant to understanding the competition for favorable locations in an urban area. Burgess believed a key city pattern could be represented by five concentric circles (Figure 17.5). The small inner circle represents the central business district, a relatively affluent zone characterized by government buildings, financial institutions, and major retailers. The next ring is a zone in transition, with low-rent areas occupied by poor and minority residents and some manufacturing. The third ring from the center is the workingman’s zone, with housing typified by small individual units and apartments. The fourth ring is the middle-class residential district, with more upscale housing options. The outer ring is the commuters’ zone or suburban zone, with larger housing units and upper-income residences. Burgess noted that as we move from the inner zone to the outer circle, we find decreased population density and increased class status, higher rates of home ownership, lower rates of crime, and smaller families. The patterns could be explained, he argued, by the amount people and businesses were willing to pay for land, with valued commercial space in the center (which has the greatest access to customers) and valued residential space in outer areas. Burgess’s model has been criticized for, among other flaws, hypothesizing a cityscape that has characterized many U.S. cities but cannot capture the patterns of global cities, many of which exhibit the opposite pattern of class composition, with the wealthiest in the center and suburban districts of poverty at the city’s edges. Contemporary gentrification in some U.S. cities has also brought high-rent residences and pricey condominiums to previously poor and neglected urban neighborhoods.   FIGURE 17.5 Burgess’s Concentric Zone Hypothesis   At the same time, Burgess’s work is important because it seeks to cast a sociological eye on the U.S. city and to recognize sociological factors that help explain social group distribution across the urban landscape. THINK IT THROUGH Can you create a sociological map of your own city or town? What kinds of patterns of commercial activity or residence can you detect, and how would you explain them sociologically?     CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES Transportation and communication technologies have played important roles in helping to shape U.S. cities. The automobile and urban rail and subway systems enabled cities to expand outward by allowing people to travel greater distances between home and work. Similarly, modern construction technologies permitted cities to expand skyward, with massive skyscrapers that take up little land space but create living or working space for thousands. THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF U.S. CITIES AND SUBURBS  Political and economic forces are also key to shaping modern cities. Sociologists John Logan and Harvey Molotch (1987; Molotch, 1976; Warner, Molotch, & Lategola, 1992) have argued that cities are shaped by what they call the urban growth machine, consisting of those persons and institutions that have a stake in an increase in the value of urban land and that constitute a power elite in most cities. These people and institutions are said to include downtown businesses, real estate owners (particularly those who own commercial and rental property), land developers and builders, newspapers (whose advertising revenues are often tied to the size of the local population), and the lawyers, accountants, architects, real estate agents, construction workers, and others whose income is tied to serving those who own land. Logan and Molotch view the urban growth machine as dominating local politics in most U.S. cities, with the result that cities often compete with one another to house factories, office buildings, shopping malls, and other economic activities that will increase the value of the land owned by the members of the growth machine. p.446 © SuperStock/Corbis The great highway building projects of the post-war period literally paved the roads to America’s suburbanized future. Robert Fishman suggests that “every true suburb is the outcome of two opposing forces, an attraction toward the opportunities of the great city and a simultaneous repulsion against urban life” (quoted in Gainsborough, 2001, p. 33). Is this an accurate characterization? Why or why not? G. William Domhoff (2002) expands this notion with his concept of growth coalitions, groups “whose members share a common interest in intensifying land use in their geographic locale” (p. 39). Growth coalitions are a powerful force in local politics, though they encounter conflicts in their pursuit of growth and profit. Domhoff notes that “neighborhoods are something to be used and enjoyed in the eyes of those who live in them, but they are often seen as sites for further development by growth coalitions, who justify new developments with a doctrine claiming the highest and best use for land” (p. 40). Consider Domhoff’s conflict-oriented analysis of U.S. politics and decision making, which we examined in Chapter 14. Recall that Domhoff asks us to ponder the questions Who benefits? Who governs? Who wins? Looking at growth politics—the increasing development of already crowded suburbs or the gentrification of urban neighborhoods at the expense of older neighborhoods—we may ask who has the power and the resources to realize their interests. Are those who favor use value (the enjoyment of the neighborhood) or those who favor exchange value (the economic development of an area) more powerful? Is the shape of modern cities and suburbs a product primarily of those who inhabit them or those who profit from them? The post–World War II development of U.S. cities and suburbs illustrates how the growth machine operates at the national level. The rapid growth of suburbs during the 1950s and the 1960s is often attributed to people’s preference for suburban living, but it was also a product of economic forces and government policies designed to stimulate the postwar economy (Jackson, 1985; Mollenkopf, 1977). The government influence is illustrated by the 1956 National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, which established a highway trust fund paid for by a federal tax on gasoline. This legislation ensured a self-renewing source of funding to construct high-speed freeways connecting cities and suburbs across the country. The legislation eventually financed nearly 100,000 miles of highway, characterized by President Dwight Eisenhower at the time as “the greatest public works program in history” and enough to build a “Great Wall” around the world 50 feet wide and 9 feet high. The law originated in the planning efforts of a powerful consortium of bankers, corporations, and unions connected with the automobile, petroleum, and construction industries (Mollenkopf, 1977). The Highways Act, in combination with other government programs, spurred the growth of the U.S. economy, both by improving transportation and by promoting the automobile and construction industries. The existence of freeways encouraged people to buy more cars and to drive additional miles, generating still more gasoline tax revenues for additional highway construction. Large numbers of people bought houses in the suburbs with federally insured and subsidized loans, commuted on federally financed highways to work in federally subsidized downtown office buildings, and even shopped in suburban shopping centers built in part with federal dollars. All this development ushered in a quarter century of growth and relative prosperity for working- and middle-class residents of the suburbs. p.447 In fact, the rapid growth of suburbs in this period represents one of the most dramatic population shifts in U.S. history. In 1950, cities contained 33% of the U.S. population, considerably more than their surrounding suburbs (23%). During the 1960s the suburbs overtook the cities, and by 1990 the suburban population had reached 46% of the U.S. total, while the city population had declined slightly to 31% (Frey & Speare, 1991). In 2000, 46% lived in the suburbs, while the proportion in central cities dropped slightly to 30% (Hobbs & Stoops, 2002). In 2010, more than 80% of the U.S. population inhabited metropolitan areas, but the 2010 census also showed a shift back toward urban growth (Mackun & Wilson, 2011). The emergence of postindustrial society has encouraged further development beyond the economic activity of the urban core. Modern information technology has made it easier for corporations to locate high-tech factories and office parks in once-remote suburban or even rural locations, where they take advantage of relatively inexpensive land, wooded landscapes, and other amenities. Since 1980, more than two-thirds of employment growth in the United States has taken place outside central cities, and even manufacturing, while in decline nationally, has found a home in the suburbs; today, about 70% of manufacturing is suburban (Wilson, 2010). While those who benefit from such relocations tend to be well-educated managerial, technical, and professional specialists, the suburbs are also home to a substantial proportion of entry-level positions. This is significant because it contributes to the loss of employment opportunities in central cities. Sociologist William Julius Wilson (2010) writes of the spatial mismatch between urban job seekers and suburban jobs, noting that “opportunities for employment are geographically disconnected from the people who need the jobs” (p. 41). He offers the example of Cleveland, where, “although entry-level workers are concentrated in inner-city neighborhoods, 80 percent of the entry-level jobs are located in the suburbs” (p. 41). The migration of middle- and upper-income families from the cities begun in the post–World War II era evolved into a critical socioeconomic disparity between the suburbs and central cities. Analyzing the concentrated poverty of urban core areas such as South Chicago, Wilson (2010) points out that political forces created a “new urban poverty” that plagues inner-city neighborhoods deeply segregated by both race and class. These forces included government support for highway building, a postwar mortgage lending boom that benefited predominantly White veterans and their families, and the decline of the industrial base that long provided economic sustenance to U.S. cities and less educated workers. The decline of U.S. cities, most visible in the economically distressed urban cores of cities including Chicago; Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore, has fostered efforts toward urban renewal, or the transformation of old neighborhoods with new buildings, businesses, and residences. Urban renewal is linked to gentrification, a process characterized by the attempt to change the socioeconomic composition of old and poor neighborhoods with the remodeling of old structures and building of new residences and shops to attract new middle- and high-income residents. On one hand, gentrification may be successful in transforming dilapidated neighborhoods into flourishing (and more economically valuable) urban spaces that offer cultural and business opportunities to residents and visitors. Cities may benefit from gentrification as the process rebuilds a middle-class base of residents and pushes up the value of taxable property and, consequently, revenues for city governments. On the other hand, rising property values also tend to herald a rise in rents and other costs of living, which may push out longtime low-income residents who cannot afford to be part of the boom in condominiums or the luxury amenities intended to make gentrified spaces inviting to upwardly mobile new residents. In the fall of 2010, the city of Washington, D.C., announced the closing one of its few bilingual shelters for the homeless. The shelter was located in Columbia Heights, a “rapidly developing” neighborhood described as “a focus of city redevelopment efforts” (Rott, 2010). City officials tried to move the shelter’s residents to apartments before the shelter was to be destroyed to make way for condominiums and a new shopping complex. As an advocate for the homeless noted, however, “the remaining men’s shelters are in the poorest parts of the city” (quoted in Rott, 2010). What, then, are we to conclude about gentrification? How can urban renewal and efforts to bring upwardly mobile residents back to U.S. city centers be balanced with the needs and aspirations of low-income residents, whether in apartments, houses, or shelters, who may be displaced? THE EMERGENCE OF GLOBAL CITIES We live in the first age of decisive urban dominance. Today, more than half the world’s population resides in cities, many of which are massive global centers such as London (population 10.2 million), New York (20.7 million), and Tokyo (37.6 million) (Demographia, 2014). Global cities are metropolitan areas that are highly interconnected with one another in their role as centers of global political and economic decision making, finance, and culture (Sassen, 1991). Their economic role is defined as much by the large role they play in the global economy as by their influence in their immediate geographic regions. Gentrification ‘Without the Negative’ CLICK TO SHOW p.448 FIGURE 17.6 The World’s Megacities, 2013 SOURCE: Population Reference Bureau. (2013). 2013 world population data sheet. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/pdf13/2013-population-data-sheet_eng.pdf.   Saskia Sassen (1991) identifies four principal functions of global cities. First, they are “command posts” in the organization of the world economy. Second, they serve as key locations for businesses related to finance, accounting, marketing, design, and other highly specialized (and profitable) services that are replacing manufacturing as the leading economic sectors. Third, they are the most important sites of innovation and new product development. Finally, they serve as the principal markets for global businesses. Sassen (2000) also notes that “whether at the global or regional level, these cities must inevitably engage each other in fulfilling their functions…. There is no such ity as a single global city” (p. 4). In global cities, multinational corporations and international bankers maintain their headquarters and oversee the operation of diverse production and management operations that are spread across the globe. Global cities are sites for the creation and concentration of enormous economic wealth: By one recent estimate, just 100 cities account for 30% of the world’s economy. It is notable that “New York City’s economy alone is larger than 46 of sub-Saharan Africa’s economies combined” (Khanna, 2010). At the same time, cities have long been magnets for those who cannot make an adequate living elsewhere, whether in other countries or in the impoverished rural areas or small towns of the cities’ own countries. Low-wage services, low-skill factory production, and sweatshops coexist with the most profitable activities of international businesses in global cities; we find dire poverty and spectacular wealth side by side. In Los Angeles, for example, hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Mexico and Central America work in the shadows of the downtown skyscrapers that house the world’s largest banks and corporations. These immigrants labor as janitors, domestics, or workers in small clothing factories that sew apparel for global garment manufacturers (Milkman, 2006; Singer, 2012). Cities are places of intense contrasts and contradictions: The inequalities that permeate relationships, institutions, and countries are on vivid display in the global cities of the world. The box Global Issues on page 449 highlights the particular problem of urbanization and HIV/AIDS. WORLD URBANIZATION TODAY Some of the most highly urbanized countries in the world today are those that only a century ago were almost entirely rural. As recently as 1950, only 18% of the inhabitants of developing countries lived in urban areas. In 2012, 51% did. For the first time in history, there are more people living in urban areas than in rural areas throughout the world (Population Reference Bureau, 2012). Today, more than 30% of the world’s poor inhabit cities—some in the developed countries, most in developing countries. A 2012 UNICEF report identifies urban poverty as a critical and growing problem, particularly for children, noting that “in fact, hundreds of millions of children today live in urban slums, many without access to basic services. They are vulnerable to dangers ranging from violence and exploitation to the injuries, illnesses and death that result from living in crowded settlements atop hazardous rubbish dumps or alongside railroad tracks” (p. v). p.449 GLOBAL ISSUES URBANIZATION AND THE SPREAD OF HIV/AIDS: THE CASE OF SOUTH AFRICA Brent Stirton / Staff/Getty Images Women in a South African mining town distribute condoms and leaflets on safe sex practices. Some of the women are sex workers, but concern about safe sex is widespread, as HIV/AIDS is a serious threat in mining communities where many male workers are migrants who leave their families for long periods of time and may seek out the services of sex workers. One of the critical problems faced by many large cities in developed and developing countries is the spread of HIV/AIDS, primarily through sexual contact and intravenous drug use. Consider urban South Africa, which has experienced rapid urbanization since the end of the racist apartheid regime in 1994. With the lifting of apartheid-era regulations that kept many Black South Africans out of White-dominated cities, urban populations have expanded dramatically. High levels of migration to cities are among a host of sociological factors intertwined with the spread of HIV/AIDS, the prevalence of which was as high as 26% in the city of Johannesburg at the turn of the millennium (van Donk, 2002). In the province of KwaZulu-Natal, which includes the city of Durban, the prevalence today stands at almost 40% (South African Department of Health, 2012). Urban areas are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS epidemics for a number of reasons. First, the promise of jobs draws migrant laborers from impoverished small towns and rural areas, many of them young males who are unmarried or have left families behind. Some are drawn to the urban sex markets that arise to cater to unattached men, where sexually transmitted infections are rampant and easily passed from person to person. Further, men returning to their villages from cities may carry with them infections they pass to their wives, who do not have the power to ask their men to use prophylactics. Other newcomers to the cities, unable to secure legal work, may be drawn into criminal activities such as drugs or prostitution, which also foster an environment conducive to the spread of disease (van Donk, 2002). The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (known as UNAIDS) estimates that 6.1 million people in South Africa are infected with HIV/AIDS. Many reside in South Africa’s cities. Among South Africans between 15 and 49 years of age—who are in both their productive and their reproductive years—there was a prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS of 17.9% in 2012 (UNAIDS, 2012). Increasing levels of ill health and death in this demographic group have the potential to seriously compromise the economic activity and prosperity of the country and its communities and families. In 2009, South Africa’s government announced a new, more vigorous campaign to combat HIV/AIDS and increase access to treatment (Sidibé, 2009). According to South Africa’s most recent progress report to the United Nations, its national HIV counseling and testing program has reached 13 million people, the prevalence of HIV has stabilized, and mortality rates are declining, particularly among women (Republic of South Africa, 2012). THINK IT THROUGH How might sociologists go about studying the relationship between rapid urbanization and the spread of disease? How would you measure these variables? How would you design research questions to test whether correlation equals causation?   Urbanization Across 10,000 Years CLICK TO SHOW p.450 NASA Satellite photos from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration show that arctic sea ice cover dropped to a record low on September 16, 2012. NASA scientists say the melt has taken place more rapidly than they predicted. According to the United Nations, as of 2011 there were 456 cities worldwide with 1 million inhabitants or more. Globally, there were 29 megacities, usually defined as cities with total population of 10 million or more (Demographia, 2014). The number of megacities is projected to increase to 37 by 2025. About 1 in 20 people worldwide currently reside in a megacity, and projections indicate that about 1 in 13 people will reside in a city of more than 10 million people by 2025 (United Nations, 2011). Khanna (2010) suggests that “we need to get used to the idea of nearly 100 million people clustered around Mumbai [in India] or Shanghai [in China]. Across India, more than 275 million people are projected to move into the country’s teeming cities over the next two decades, a population nearly equivalent to that of the United States” (p. 123). It is estimated that by 2025 China will be home to fully 15 cities with an average of 25 million inhabitants. Cities are dynamic places and the centerpiece of modern life in many countries, sites of innovation, creativity, education, and positive social change. They are also often wasteful producers of garbage, pollution, and greenhouse gases. In the next section, we explore the environmental challenges that cities and modern society present for our planet. THE LOCAL AND GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT The year 2012 went down as the hottest on record. Across the globe, a spectrum of devastating weather events took place. The U.S. government’s National Climatic Data Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has reported the following: •    In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy became the largest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, causing $20 billion worth of damage. The hurricane traveled through the Caribbean, leaving wreckage in Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba before carving a destructive path up the East Coast of the United States. A total of 24 U.S. states were affected, with the worst damage occurring in New York and New Jersey, where heavy winds and flooding left millions without power. At least 185 people were killed by the storm. •    The period of January–August 2012 was the warmest 8 months on record, with 33 U.S. states record warm in addition to 12 states that were top 10 warm. The contiguous U.S. temperature average for January–August was 58.7 °F, a startling 4.0 °F above average. •    The farmland states of the U.S. Midwest, which produce much of the nation’s food crops, have been experiencing the worst drought in the past 56 years. The resulting arid conditions led to the destruction of 3.6 million acres by wildfires in August 2012 alone. •    Thaws have brought ice levels in the Arctic to record lows. As average global temperatures rise, Arctic ice is melting with increasing rapidity. Warming has reduced the thickness of the ice, which also fosters faster melting. •    Increasingly intense weather events have continued across the globe, and scientists link them to climate change. In November 2013, for example, Typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia, killing more than 6,000 people. •    In the spring of 2014, evidence showed that the melting of the West Antarctica ice sheet is now irreversible. This melting could lead to dramatic rises in sea level. The events of recent years follow on the heels of other occurrences of extreme weather, including the U.S. tornado outbreak of 2011; the 2009 heat waves in Argentina; numerous tropical storms and cyclones throughout South Asia in 2008; the 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which devastated the Gulf Coast; and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that laid waste to parts of Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, and Southern India. Cities are Growing CLICK TO SHOW p.451 FIGURE 17.7 Natural Catastrophes Worldwide, 2012   What is behind the increase in extreme weather events across the globe? Many scientists suspect it is global warming, also referred to as climate change, since not all its effects are manifested in the form of rising temperatures. Global warming is widely understood to occur because so-called greenhouse gases, by-products of industrialization such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane gas, become trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and hold heat at the surface. While part of this process is naturally occurring and is related to a climate cycle that keeps the earth at a habitable temperature, the industrial era has seen a growing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The resulting “greenhouse effect” is believed to be causing an unprecedented rise in air temperatures, melting the world’s ice caps and glaciers and raising ocean temperatures and sea levels. Warm air also retains more water vapor than cold air, a condition that scientists warn will be linked to greater downpours and a higher probability of floods (McKibben, 2011). The escalation of climate change and the growing reach of its effects are on the research agendas of climate scientists, biologists, and other physical scientists. Sociologists have also taken an interest. Among their concerns is the way in which this phenomenon, which most climate scientists accept as a credible threat to our planet and its inhabitants, has been framed in the mainstream social and political discourse as a societal problem. Some sociologists have argued that public attention to problems such as climate change depends in part on the presence of a “social scare” (Ungar, 1992)—that is, an event (such as extreme weather) that draws attention to a phenomenon by allowing it to “piggyback on dramatic real-world events” (Ungar, 1992, p. 483). Recent extreme weather events, however, do not seem to have had an appreciable effect on public concern. Interestingly, while there has been an increase in the availability of information on the science and manifestations of climate change, particularly in the age of the Internet, the proportion of the U.S. population expressing concern about the issue has remained fairly steady over the past two decades and has even dropped in recent years. In a 2012 Gallup survey, 42% of respondents indicated they felt “the seriousness of global warming” was “generally exaggerated,” about one third believed it to be “generally correct,” and about a quarter suggested that it was “generally underestimated” (Saad, 2012). Why is there little apparent sense of urgency or mobilization of action in the face of an environmental threat such as climate change? There is a spectrum of possible explanations. For example, research suggests that the “creeping nature” of climate change—that is, the fact that effects are not constantly apparent and are perceived to be far in the future—leads some people to discount it as a potential problem (Moser & Dilling, 2004). Some sociologists also point to the treadmill of production, the constant and aggressive growth needed to sustain the modern economy (Schnaiberg & Gould, 1994). On the political and economic agenda this growth takes precedence over environmental concerns. Governments—as well as companies that drill for oil, mine coal, manufacture products, or engage in other energy-intensive endeavors—are concerned about maintaining profitability in the private sector, which may lead them to ignore, minimize, or even deny the problem. p.452 Are these two imperatives—the need for a vigorous economy and the need for a clean and sustainable environment—irreconcilable? How can we build an economy that can both grow and be green? POPULATION GROWTH, MODERNIZATION, AND THE ENVIRONMENT Industrialization and urbanization, combined with rapid population growth, have taken a toll on the global environment and its resources. Threats to the environment exist in both underdevelopment and overdevelopment. On one hand, the world’s population, surpassing 7 billion people, needs basic resources: water, food, shelter, and energy. As humans seek to meet these needs, they tax the earth by impinging on the natural habitats of unique animal and plant species to make room for human habitation. More important, perhaps, the rise of the global consumer class—those who actively use technology, purchase consumer goods, and embrace the culture of consumption—has meant that more individuals are using more resources per person than ever before. By some estimates, a quarter of the world’s population falls within the global consumer class. A large percentage of the members of this class live in developed countries; according to the Worldwatch Institute, the United States and Canada, home to just over 5% of the world’s population, account for about 31% of private consumption expenditures, and Western Europe, with around 6% of the globe’s people, accounts for more than 28% of expenditures. However, the consumer class is expanding. More than half its members now live in areas of advancing prosperity in the developing world, such as China and India. In 2009, China passed the United States to become the biggest market for automobiles on the planet (Langfitt, 2013), and half of the world’s new shopping malls are being built in China, where luxury consumption is growing particularly rapidly (“Chinese Consumers,” 2014). The future consumer markets of the world are in developing countries rather than developed countries, which are characterized by sagging population growth and already high consumption rates. In many respects, urbanization and industrialization are important achievements in the developing world, where more people have the opportunity to meet their needs and realize their dreams, leaving behind the travails of deprivation. Though the gulf between rich and poor remains wide, prosperity has advanced around the globe. Development’s darker underbelly, however, becomes visible when we look at the problems presented by the consumer class and its growing ranks. Arguably, among the most critical problems of development is overconsumption. Overconsumption may be understood as a recklessly wasteful use of resources, from fuel to food and consumer goods. Overconsumption is a symptom of development. Among its health consequences are obesity, or having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, and being overweight, having a BMI between 25 and 29.9 (a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). More than two-thirds of U.S. adults (78 million) are overweight or obese, conditions that can lead to heart disease and other dangerous maladies (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2012). Globally more than 1 billion people are overweight, and at least 300 million of these are obese. While these problems used to be problems of Western prosperity, more people in developing countries are joining the ranks of the overweight and obese as they move from more traditional diets to “modern” foods (Popkin, Adair, & Ng, 2012). High-fat and high-sugar foods are widely consumed: These foods are aggressively advertised, cheap, and popular, especially among young people. Rising consumption also threatens the environment, as more people buy, use, and toss away ever more “stuff.” The global fleet of passenger cars is more than 531 million and growing; in the United States there are more cars than licensed drivers. Many modern consumers also value size as a sign of material success: The size of SUVs has expanded more rapidly than their fuel efficiency, and new houses in the United States were nearly 38% bigger in 2002 than in 1975, though households on average were smaller (Worldwatch Institute, 2004, 2010). As a comparison, at 2,265 square feet, the average U.S. home today is twice as big as the average European or Japanese dwelling and 26 times bigger than the typical living space in Africa (Worldwatch Institute, 2010). As more people across the globe strive, understandably, for prosperity and modernity, it may be wise for us to ask: Can such consumption be sustained? Those who live in the prosperous countries might also ask: Is it hypocritical to raise concerns about the global destruction wrought by overconsumption when the West has been the primary consumer of the world’s resources for the past century? (See the Technology and Society box on page 453 for more on this.) To give you the opportunity to consider these important questions, we discuss below the environmental impacts of population growth in developing states and of consumption growth in developed states and newly prosperous areas. China’s Booming Auto Industry CLICK TO SHOW p.453 TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY YOUR COMPUTER AND THE ENVIRONMENT REUTERS/Stringer Indonesia Nearly all work in Indonesia’s tin mines is done by hand with pickaxes and hoes. Global demand by electronics manufacturers has pushed tin mining into the seabed, disrupting the fishing industry which has been a traditional economic staple. One journalist found tin pits dug around Bangka airport’s only runway (Simpson, 2012). One of the fastest-growing industries on the planet is the manufacture of electronics, including personal computers and mobile phones. On one hand, this is positive: More people than ever before can connect with one another and gain access to the educational, professional, and recreational power of personal computers. On the other hand, discarded computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices are creating a growing toxic waste problem in all countries. A report by the United Nations Environment Programme (2009) suggests that the volume of “e-waste” generated by computers alone could rise by 200% to 400% of 2007 levels in China and South Africa over the coming decade. In India, the report predicts, the increase in computer e-waste could reach 500% of the 2007 level. Computers and mobile devices have demonstrable detrimental environmental and health effects, particularly at the start and end of their useful lives. A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article documents the disturbing origin of tin, which is used in every modern smartphone and electronic tablet. About one third of all tin used in these consumer devices originates in Bangka, an island that is part of Indonesia. About half the mined tin is turned into solder for the electronics industry. The miners—who number between 15,000 and 50,000—work in difficult and dangerous conditions, and, “if they’re lucky, the members of a crew find enough ‘tin sand’ to each earn about $5 a day” (Simpson, 2012, p. 52). Tin mines, particularly those dug deep to retrieve the valuable mineral, are vulnerable to collapse and mudslides, among other hazards. Desperate for money, residents of the island endanger their safety and degrade the environment with deep pits dug legally and illegally to get to tin that can be sold. At the other end of their productive lives, electronics once again present a serious hazard to human health and the environment. According to some estimates, for every new computer that enters the marketplace each year, another one is discarded into the solid-waste stream, carrying toxic ingredients such as lead, phosphor, barium, and cadmium with it (Worldwatch Institute, 2004). Although e-waste makes up only 1% to 2% of total waste in the United States, it accounts for 70% of toxic waste (Environmental Protection Agency, 2011). Advanced economies such as the United States use many of the electronics produced around the world and may feel some of the effects of their disposal, but they are able to export many of the toxic effects to developing countries. Despite a global ban on trade in hazardous waste, between 50% and 80% of “recycled” computers are believed to end their lives in developing countries such as India, Pakistan, and China, where workers disassembling the machines are exposed to chemicals that can cause organ, nervous system, and brain damage (United Nations Environment Programme, 2009; Worldwatch Institute, 2004). THINK IT THROUGH How should we as consumers of computers and other electronic devices respond to the environmental and health problems associated with the production and disposal of these devices? Whose problem is it, and who should pay for the safe disposal of e-waste? p.454 PRIVATE LIVES, PUBLIC ISSUES WHAT’S ON THE MENU? © XPACIFICA/National Geographic Creative If people know that a particular food is sourced unsustainably, or even unethically, will that alter their choice to purchase the product? What would you predict, and why? Among Americans’ favorite dinner treats are dishes made with shrimp. Italian restaurants serve shrimp scampi; Chinese and Thai restaurants offer a wide variety of spicy, saucy shrimp dishes; and shrimp cocktail has long been a popular appetizer. More than 1 billion pounds of shrimp are consumed in the United States each year, 90% of which are imported from overseas (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2011). Where exactly does all that shrimp come from? A great deal comes from shrimp farms in developing countries. Some governments and wealthy donor nations have encouraged shrimp farming, arguing that it contributes to economic development in poor states and promotes a so-called blue revolution to increase the production of seafood without depleting natural marine stocks. Community activists, farmers, and environmentalists, however, have questioned the benefits of shrimp farms (Gatsiounis, 2008; Trent, Williams, Thornton, & Shanahan, 2004; Worldwatch Institute, 2004). From a conflict perspective, we might ask who benefits, and who loses, from the expansion of shrimp farming in developing states. Major beneficiaries include consumers in the United States, Europe, and Japan, who purchase and eat most of the shrimp produced. Thailand, for instance, exports up to 90% of its farmed shrimp (Fish Site, 2009). Other beneficiaries are the governments of exporting countries, since shrimp exports can bring in substantial revenue, and the private owners of shrimp farms, who are often foreign nationals. According to some researchers and activists, losers in the blue revolution of shrimp farming are local communities and the marine environment. Common problems include the loss of agricultural land, which is flooded with saline water to create shrimp ponds, and the reduced availability of crabs and fish for consumption and exchange in the local economy (Gatsiounis, 2008; Trent et al., 2004). The salinization process can also pollute supplies of drinking and washing water. In Thailand, “as local fishermen have pulled back from shrimp farming, large-scale conglomerates have filled the void. Behind the small concrete houses… backhoes are digging out shrimp ponds as far as the eye can see. Villagers say there will be 100 ponds in total, owned by industrial conglomerates based in Bangkok, and operated mainly by imported labor” (Gatsiounis, 2008). Shrimp peelers working in Thai factories also absorb the costs, laboring for exploitative wages and under the threat of violence or job loss for taking time off. Many are underage or migrant workers forced into debt slavery to pay off loans to smugglers (Motlagh, 2012). THINK IT THROUGH Where did the shrimp in your supermarket or favorite restaurant originate? Should you care? Should other consumers of shrimp care? How can we balance our culinary desires with social justice?   Population Growth in Oil Boomtowns CLICK TO SHOW p.455 © Imaginechina/Corbis Massive ships used by developed countries for the transportation of goods and oil end their useful lives on the shores of developing states such as India and Pakistan. Workers at shipbreaking yards deconstruct the giant and complex vessels, a process that releases dangerous toxins into the environment and into their bodies.   UNDERDEVELOPMENT AND OVERDEVELOPMENT IN THE MODERN WORLD Environmental problems that appear in one part of the globe often result from actions taken elsewhere and may have far-reaching effects for all of the planet’s inhabitants. They are indeed global. However, many immediate environmental effects are local. The most degraded local environments tend to be those inhabited by the poorest people. Air pollution is far worse in Bangkok, Mexico City, and Beijing than in the most polluted U.S. cities such as Los Angeles. China’s rapid development has brought new prosperity to many Chinese, but the rising number of factories, power stations, and cars has also brought serious pollution. A 2007 World Health Organization study suggests that more than 650,000 people die each year in China from causes associated with air pollution; another 95,000 are killed by polluted drinking water (Platt, 2007). Disease runs rampant in the large cities of India, where the infrastructure, including sewage systems, which should carry away waste and ensure the flow of potable water, cannot meet the needs of growing populations. In some coastal areas of India, toxic pollution streams flow from ship-breaking yards, where laborers take apart ships no longer fit to sail the seas. Local environmental problems have also arisen from deforestation in the tropical rain forests of Central America and the destruction of mangrove ponds and wetlands in Asia, as these areas are transformed into agricultural production sites for growing numbers of farmers. Population pressures in developing countries are important contributors to these problems. However, the world’s developed states are also implicated. Consider, for instance, deforestation and wetlands destruction. Some of the rain-forest land in the Amazon has been cleared to make room for cattle ranching that produces beef to be consumed not locally but in the United States and other developed nations. Similarly, the wetlands of some coastal areas of Asia are being transformed into shrimp farms to grow the delicacy enjoyed in wealthy countries. The ships in India’s coastal ship-breaking yards are largely the corpses of Western fleets. The consequences of the developed world’s consumption are, indeed, felt in the furthest corners of the developing world, highlighting the fact that we cannot understand threats to the earth exclusively in terms of population explosion. We should also recognize environmental dangers as the products of choices made by a small wealthy elite of countries and consumers (Eglitis, 2010). How Population Growth and Urbanization Relate to Global Climate Change. CLICK TO SHOW Regional Planning CLICK TO SHOW p.456 © Imaginechina/Corbis In Wuhan City in China, young people walk with masks to protect their lungs from a thick haze that settled on the city in June of 2012. Authorities attributed the hazardous air to straw burning, a practice undertaken by some farmers to dispose of surplus crops in the fields. Industrial and automobile pollution are also frequent threats to air quality in Chinese towns and cities—and significant contributors to greenhouse gases. . Industrialization in both the developed and developing worlds is also a critical aspect of the environmental equation. On one hand, some developing countries, such as China, are aggressively pursuing industrialization and multisector economic growth. Because of its enormous size and rapid move toward industrialization, China is fast becoming the world’s major contributor to greenhouse gases. Coal, a highly polluting source of energy, provides the country with three-quarters of its energy, creating so much pollution in some urban areas that residents must wear surgical masks for protection. In the southern and eastern parts of the country, where urbnization and industrialization are proceeding at historically unprecedented rates, the environmental damage has been considerable. On the other hand, just as it did in the West, industrialization is bringing greater prosperity and prospects to many Chinese. This raises the question of whether we must choose between a “good life” and a “good earth.” What would it mean to achieve a balance between the needs and desires of people around the world and the needs of the planet? The Private Lives, Public Issues box on page 454 looks at the problem of the desires of humans and needs of the planet through the prism of what we choose to eat. WHY STUDY POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT FROM A SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE? We opened this chapter by describing the effects of son preference in China, India, and South Korea. The global effect of an individual choice is not apparent to us, but populations are the products of millions or billions of such choices, some made by families, some made by states. Demographics are both statistics and lived realities. Whether we live in fast-growth states whose resources may be increasingly taxed by rapidly rising populations or in no-growth states that may experience economic troubles as workers age without being replaced, our lives will be affected in some way by demographic forces. Similarly, we make individual choices about consumption and disposal, a topic we look at in the Technology and Society box in this chapter. When we purchase a new car or truck, order a meal in a restaurant, toss out bags of old clothes at spring cleaning, or decide to replace an outdated computer, we are part of a mass of other global consumers making similar choices, and our choices—like theirs—affect the economies and environments of countries around the world. Just as there is no “single global city” (in Saskia Sassen’s words), there are no single choices about fertility or consumption or disposal that do not cumulatively have global effects. By understanding the social forces that affect personal choices, as well as the way personal choices affect phenomena such as population growth or decline, rising urban prosperity and poverty, and environmental health or degradation, we become better equipped to recognize and confront some of the paramount global challenges of this century. Global Biodiversity CLICK TO SHOW p.457 WHAT CAN I DO WITH A SOCIOLOGY DEGREE?       SKILLS AND CAREERS: THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE The study of sociology helps you develop a broad understanding of the social world, which includes relationships between cultures and countries over time and space and the ability to see the world from a variety of perspectives. A global perspective encompasses knowledge and skills. A global perspective evolves through study and experiences that lead to a strong understanding and appreciation of the significance and effects of global cultural, economic, political, and social connections on individuals, communities, and countries. It also encompasses the development of skills for working effectively in intercultural environments. In this chapter we looked at issues related to population trends, urbanization, and the environment. For example, we examined some urgent problems of the global environment. You know that nearly 200 diverse countries with sometimes competing and even conflicting domestic agendas share a single planet. Borders do not necessarily limit the effects of economic, political, or ecological decisions made by these states. Understanding different cultures, recognizing a diverse spectrum of legitimate political and economic interests, and having the ability to see issues from multiple perspectives are key to global efforts to deal cooperatively with environmental threats to the planet. As a sociology student, you will have the opportunity to develop the kind of thoughtful global perspective that will enable to you make critical connections between decisions about, for instance, economic consumption or production, which are made at the individual or community or country level, and effects that are experienced globally. Having a global perspective is of tremendous value in today’s globalized labor market and in occupations that demand proficiency in intercultural relationships and communication. Occupational fields such as government service, international business, health and medicine, travel and tourism, international development, and diplomacy are just a few of the areas where a global perspective is needed. Job titles in these sectors include foreign service officer, intelligence analyst, health worker, global social entrepreneur, cross-culture specialist, translator, and human rights organizer. Below you will find a partial list of global industries, companies, and organizations that you can research to learn about opportunities in these exciting areas of employment: •    Global culture industries: music, film, and sports, including MTV, Disney, and the NBA •    Global environment: World Wide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, and Sierra Club •    Global health: World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention •    Global marketing agencies: BBDO, J. Walter Thompson, and Leo Burnett •    Human justice organizations: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch •    International governing agencies: United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund •    International service agencies: Red Cross, CARE, UNICEF, and Peace Corps •    International development agencies: USAID and relief funds •    International businesses: Sony, Microsoft, Apple, and GlaxoSmithKline •    Mass communication: CNN, ESPN, and foreign correspondence •    Travel and tourism: travel agencies, global tour companies, and cruise lines •    U.S. government offices and agencies: Foreign Service and Department of State THINK ABOUT CAREERS How is intercultural knowledge developed through sociological study? How can you expand your global perspective outside the classroom? Why is a global perspective of particular importance in the modern world? How might a global perspective be of value in some of the career fields of interest to you? Might changes taking place in these fields as a result of globalization or other labor market trends increase the importance of the global perspective? p.458   SUMMARY •    The world’s population is growing at a rapid rate, having increased as much since 1950 as it did in the preceding 4 million years. Growth is highly uneven around the world, with most taking place in developing countries. Other regions are losing population, including Eastern Europe (projected to face a 14% decline by 2050). •    Annual population growth or decline in a country is the result of four factors: (1) the number of people born in the country during the year, (2) the number who die, (3) the number who immigrate into the country, and (4) the number who emigrate out. In the language of demographers, population changes are based on fertility, mortality, and net migration. •    The theory of the first demographic transition proposes that many societies go through roughly the same stages of population growth: low growth resulting from high fertility and equally high mortality, a transitional stage of explosive growth resulting from high fertility and low mortality, and a final stage of slow or no growth resulting from low fertility and low mortality. •    Advanced industrial states may be undergoing a second demographic transition, seen as changes in family patterns that affect population. For instance, in the world’s industrialized states divorce has increased, cohabitation has increased, marriage has declined, fertility has fallen, and nonmarital births as a proportion of all births have increased. •    Thomas Malthus developed the theory of exponential population growth: the belief that, like compound interest, a constant rate of population growth produces a population that grows by an increasing amount with each passing year. Malthus claimed that while population grows exponentially, the food supply does not; the earth’s resources are finite. Others, such as economist Julian Simon, have suggested that population growth increases humanity’s potential for uncovering talent and innovation. •    Karl Marx was critical of Malthus and felt the central problem was not a mismatch between population size and resource availability, but rather inequitable distribution of resources between the wealthy and the disadvantaged. •    Sociologist Louis Wirth (1938) defined the city as a large, densely populated, and permanent settlement that brought together heterogeneous populations. While cities of the past served primarily as centers of trade, in the 18th century industrial cities emerged as centers of manufacturing. By the 19th century industrialization was advancing hand in hand with urbanization. •    Some of the most highly urbanized countries in the world today are those that only a century ago were almost entirely rural. As recently as 1950, only 18% of the inhabitants of developing countries lived in urban areas. In 2010, fully 44% did. By 2015, the proportion of the world’s people living in cities across the world approached 50%. •    With the emergence of postindustrial society, global cities have appeared. These metropolitan areas are highly interconnected with one another and serve as centers of global political and economic decision making, finance, and culture. Examples include New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Singapore. •    The combination of rapid population growth and modernization, in the form of industrialization and urbanization, takes a toll on the global environment and its resources. Both under- and overdevelopment threaten the environment. •    The study of demography and population growth helps us gain a fuller understanding of the ways that micro-level events, such as childbearing decisions in a family, are linked to macro-level issues, such as population growth or decline, threats of mortality, and challenges to the sustainability of resources and development. p.459 KEY TERMS demography, 433 population momentum, 435 fertility, 436 net migration, 436 crude birthrate, 436 age-specific fertility rate, 436 crude death rate, 436 age-specific mortality rate, 436 life expectancy, 436 rate of natural increase (RNI), 440 exponential population growth, 441 city, 443 agricultural surplus, 444 urbanization, 445 urban growth machine, 446 urban renewal, 447 gentrification, 447 global cities, 447 megacities, 450 treadmill of production, 452 global consumer class, 452 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1.   What key factors have contributed to the decline of population growth in many modern countries? What are the benefits and consequences of fertility declines? 2.   Do populations stop growing when fertility declines to replacement rate fertility (a total fertility rate of 2.1)? Explain your answer. 3.   As you saw in the chapter, urbanization continues to increase across the globe. What draws populations to cities? What sociological factors point to this trend continuing? 4.   What is the global consumer class? What are the global costs and benefits to the expansion of this group? 5.   Are economic growth and environmental protection irreconcilable values? Consider what you have read both in earlier chapters about economic growth and employment and in this chapter about environmental challenges such as climate change, and respond thoughtfully to the question.   Sharpen your skills with SAGE edge at edge.sagepub.com/chambliss2e A personalized approach to help you accomplish your coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment. Answer to question on page 436: on the 29th day.   18 SOCIAL MOVEMENTSAND SOCIAL CHANGE © Carl & Ann Purcell/Corbis Media Library CHAPTER 18 Media Library AUDIO     Striking for Better Pay 50 Years Before Ferguson, MO VIDEO     Social Change and Non-Violence Social Movements Violence Against Women Social Movement CQ RESEARCHER     Tea Party Movement ‘Occupy’ Movement JOURNAL     What We can Learn from Occupy Wallstreet Conflict within Social Movements Moral Panic Social Revolutions REFERENCE     Media and Social Movements     p.461   IN THIS CHAPTER Sociological Perspectives on Social Change Sources of Social Change Social Movements Why Study Social Change?     WHAT DO YOU THINK? 1.   What social, political, or economic conditions make revolutionary changes in societies more likely? 2.   Do people behave differently in crowds than they would individually or in small groups? What sociological factors explain crowd behavior? 3.   How has social activism changed in the age of the internet? p.462 A LOW-WAGE REVOLUTION? AP Photo/Paul Sancya   In 2014, across the United States, low-wage workers in the retail and food service sectors participated in strikes intended to draw attention to their economic plight and to push large employers like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Walmart to raise wages. On May 15, 2014, thousands of fast-food workers, organized by the advocacy group Fast Food Forward, participated in labor strikes in U.S. cities from Boston and New York to Miami and Seattle. The 15th day of the month was chosen for the protest to highlight the demonstrators’ demand that the federal minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour from the current $7.25. Similar strikes by fast-food workers took place in other countries as well, including Japan, England, and South Korea. Less than a month later, Walmart workers took to the streets in about 20 U.S. cities to advocate for higher wages. What is behind these strikes? The protests, which have been organized largely by coalitions of unions and workers, are the outcome of a confluence of factors. First, many part-time and full-time workers in these sectors earn wages that put them below or just barely above the poverty line. Consider that, according to Walmart, about half of the company’s full-time hourly workers earn more than $25,000 per year—that leaves the other half of full-time store employees of the country’s biggest private employer taking in under $25,000 annually (Reich, 2014). In fact, recent research by some public policy organizations found that employees at the country’s major low-wage employers, including McDonald’s and Walmart, are among the biggest consumers of public assistance. Rather than pay their employees a living wage, employers like McDonald’s are offering employees information (through such tools as McDonald’s McResource phone line) on applying for housing, health, and food aid from the government (Allegretto et al., 2013). Second, the rise of worker movements may be driven by the growth of the “low-wage economy” in the United States (Reich, 2014). Data show that while about a fifth of the jobs lost in the most recent economic crisis (early 2008 to early 2010) were in low-wage sectors like retail and food service, about 44% of the jobs added in the 4 years following have been in those sectors (National Employment Law Project, 2014). Although jobs in areas like fast food are often associated in the public mind with teenagers earning pocket money, a recent report suggests that more workers in these areas are older workers, many with families: Today, about 68% of fast-food workers are single or married adults who are not in school, and about a quarter are raising children (Berfield, 2013). Striking for Better PayCLICK TO SHOW p.463 Among the key demands of workers in recent protests has been an increase in the minimum wage. While most workers earn above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the median wage in the fast-food industry is below $9.00, and many employees are offered only part-time hours (Allegretto et al., 2013). Notably, this industry features the most skewed CEO-to-worker pay ratio, which is estimated to be about 1,000:1 (Reich, 2014). Raising the minimum wage is a controversial issue that has drawn a spectrum of political and economic interests into the debate (which we examined in some detail in Chapter 7). Despite the ongoing controversy, some change is taking place, perhaps in response to the workers’ movement. In 2014, the U.S. Congress considered, but failed to pass, a bill that would have raised the federal minimum wage to $10.10. At the same time, by mid-2014, seven states and several cities had raised the minimum wage on their own. In a landmark decision, the city of Seattle, Washington, passed a bill to raise the minimum wage gradually to $15.00 per hour.  Media and Social MovementsCLICK TO SHOW We begin this chapter with an overview of the foundations of sociological theorizing on social change. We continue with an examination of key sources of social change, focusing in particular on collective behavior and resources from which strikers such as those described above draw. Next we provide an overview of forms that social movements take, and we conclude with some reflections on the nature of social change going forward in a rapidly changing and globalized world. SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SOCIAL CHANGE The concept of social change is all-encompassing. It refers to small-group changes, such as a social club changing a long-standing policy against admitting women or minorities, and to global-level and national-level transformations, such as the outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries and the rise of social movements that seek to address the threat of climate change. When sociologists speak of social change, they are generally referring to changes that occur throughout the social structure of an entire society. Societies are understood sociologically as entities comprising those people who share a common culture and common institutions. Social change may refer to changes within small, relatively isolated communities such as those of the Amish or the small, culturally homogeneous tribes that dot the Amazon basin; changes across complex and modern societies such as the United States, Japan, or Germany; or changes common across similar societies, such as the economically advanced states of the West or the Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East. Three key types of social change theories in sociology are functionalist theories, conflict theories, and cyclical theories. Sociological perspectives on social change begin with particular assumptions about both the social world and basic processes of change. Below we briefly consider each theoretical perspective and discuss its utility for helping us understand the nature of social change in the world today. THE FUNCTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE Functionalist theories of social change assume that as societies develop, they become more complex and interdependent. Herbert Spencer (1892) argued that what distinguishes modern societies is differentiation—that is, the development of increasing societal complexity through the creation of specialized social roles and institutions. Spencer was referring to what Émile Durkheim conceptualized as the division of labor, which is characterized by the sorting of people into interdependent occupational and task categories (and, by extension, class categories). Think of medieval England, when craftsmen working at home made tools and shoes that they exchanged for food or clothing, using a broad range of skills to act relatively independently of one another. Compare this to modern society, where factory workers each produce parts of an automobile, managers sell completed cars to dealerships, and salespeople sell them to customers. Today people master a narrow range of tasks within a large number of highly specialized (differentiated) institutional roles and thus are highly interdependent. (Note the similarity here to Durkheim’s notion that societies evolve over time from mechanical to organic solidarity—the former being characteristic of traditional, homogeneous societies and the latter characteristic of diverse, modern societies.) p.464 GettyImages_72882874 By today’s standards, Quakers were a highly homogenous society, where consensus of opinion allowed for a type of religiously rooted social organization and structure that would likely not be possible in modern societies.  The earliest functionalist theories of social change were evolutionary theories, which assumed that all societies begin as “simple” or “primitive” and eventually develop into more “complicated” and “civilized” forms along a single, unidirectional evolutionary path (Morgan, 1877/1964). During the 20th century, however, this notion of unilinear development became increasingly shaky, as anthropologists came to believe that societies evolve in many different ways. More recent evolutionary theories (sometimes termed multilinear) argue that multiple paths to social change exist, depending on the particular circumstances of the society (Moore, 2004; Sahlins & Service, 1960). Technology, environment, population size, and social organization are among the factors that play roles in determining the path a society takes. Some evolutionary theorists viewed societies as eventually reaching an equilibrium state in which no further change would occur unless an external force set it in motion. For example, Durkheim believed that “primitive,” or less developed, societies were largely unchanging unless population growth resulted in such a differentiation of social relationships that organic solidarity replaced mechanical solidarity. Talcott Parsons (1951) viewed societies as equilibrium systems that constantly seek to maintain balance, or the status quo, unless something external disrupts equilibrium, such as changes in technology or economic relationships with other societies. Parsons later came to argue, however, that societies do change by becoming more complicated systems that are better adapted to their external environments (Parsons & Shils, 2001). Although no one can deny that modern societies contain many more specialized roles and institutions than earlier ones, evolutionary theories also assume that social changes are progressive and that “modern” (European) societies are more evolved than earlier “primitive” ones. Such beliefs appealed to countries whose soldiers, missionaries, and merchants were conquering or colonizing much of the rest of the world, since they helped justify those imperialist actions as part of the “civilizing” mission of a more advanced people. Anthropologists and sociologists eventually rejected these ideas (Nolan & Lenski, 2009). On a more micro level, consider de-differentiation in the mainstream marital relationship. Traditionally, the man was the “head of the household” and often ruled his wife and children with an iron fist. Both the norm and the reality of marriage today are characterized by a de-differentiation of roles in which men take on domestic responsibilities and, increasingly, the wife is a major income producer for the family. Since different parts of society undergo the processes of differentiation and de-differentiation to varying degrees and at different times, considerable conflict may arise between them (Alexander, 1998; Alexander & Colomy, 1990; Colomy, 1986, 1990). It is, however, the conflict perspective that assumes conflict as the foundation for social change. We look at that perspective below. THE CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE Conflict theories suggest that conflict is the product of divergent and perhaps irreconcilable social group interests and contradictory goals of social relationships. Even if a population or technology is in a state of stasis rather than change, conflict theorists see social change as inevitable, as people create ways of dealing with the conflicts and contradictions inherent in social life. Responding to the conflicts and contradictions can potentially bring a society to the brink of sharp and sometimes violent breaks with the past. Unlike their functionalist peers in sociology, conflict theorists do not see social stability as the ultimate goal of social organization. They recognize conflict as a vital, transformative part of social life. Karl Marx focused his research on the contradictions and conflicts built into capitalist societies, where the world is divided between owners of the means of production and workers, who own only their own labor power and must sell it under conditions not of their own making. In Marx’s view, the revolutionary transformation of a society into a new type—from feudalism to capitalism, or from capitalism to socialism, for example—would occur when the consciousness of the people or the concentration of power in one social class was sufficient to create a social movement able to transform the political and economic institutions into new sets of social relationships. As we have seen throughout this text, Marx’s conflict theory adhered to its own evolutionary view of social change, in which all societies would advance to the same final destination: a classless, stateless society. We have earlier noted a number of weaknesses in this theory. Of particular importance is Marx’s tendency to overemphasize economic conflict while underestimating cultural conflict and other noneconomic factors, such as gender, ethnicity, race, and nationalism, which have become increasingly important in the world today. What We can Learn from Occupy WallstreetCLICK TO SHOW p.465 Later conflict theorists have also addressed key questions about processes of social change, such as how groups come to want and pursue social change. Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1971), for instance, highlighted the importance of ideas in maintaining order and oppression in society. He observed that the ruling class is often able to create ideological hegemony, a generally accepted view of what is of value and how people should relate to their economic and social status in society. Ideological hegemony may lead people to consent to their own domination by, for instance, socializing them to believe that the existing hierarchy of power is the best or only way to organize society. Consider as well that in the past women were socialized by agents such as schools, families, and religious institutions to believe they should not have jobs outside the home or vote. The idea that women should not hold positions outside the home could be considered a hegemonic idea of this period. Gramsci also spoke of organic intellectuals—those who emerge from oppressed groups to create counterhegemonies that challenge dominant (and dominating) ideas. In the mid-19th century, women’s suffrage activists including Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were organic intellectuals, challenging powerful beliefs that women should be excluded from politics. Over time and through the efforts of activists, the counterhegemonic idea that women should have a voice in politics became, in fact, the hegemonic, or dominant, belief in Western society. In the 1950s, in response to the dominant functionalist paradigm, sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf published an influential article titled “Out of Utopia” (1958). Dahrendorf argued that functionalist theory, with its emphasis on how social institutions exist to maintain the status quo, overlooks critically important characteristics of society that lead to social conflict, such as the role of power, social change, and the unequal distribution of resources. The distribution of authority in society, said Dahrendorf, is a means of determining the probability of conflict. Where hierarchical structures such as states, private economic entities such as manufacturing firms, and even religious organizations are all dominated by the same elite, the potential for conflict is higher than in societies where authority is more dispersed. Put another way, if Group A dominates all or most key hierarchical authority structures and Group B is nearly always subordinate, conflict will be likely because Group B has little stake in the existing social order. However, if Group B has authority in some hierarchical structures and Group A has authority in others, neither group has great incentive to challenge the status quo. © H.M. HERGET/National Geographic Creative Global military and political dominance, sophisticated technology, specialization and division of labor, political institutions, and the social class structure are all strikingly similar between the United States and the fallen Roman Empire. Is there a cautionary tale here about a possible future of the United States?  Marx emphasized control of the means of production as a source of power and conflict; Gramsci highlighted control of dominant ideas in society as an important source of power and change; and Dahrendorf put authority and its concentration or distribution at the center of his work. Conflict theorists differ in their beliefs about what sources are most likely to underlie social conflict and social change, but all agree that social conflict and social change are both inevitable and desirable components of society and progress. RISE-AND-FALL THEORIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE Rise-and-fall theories of social change deny that there is any particular forward direction to social change; rather, they argue that change reflects a cycle of growth and decline. Rise-and-fall or cyclical theories are common in the religious myths of many cultures, which view social life as a reflection of the life cycle of living creatures, or the seasons of the year, with the end representing some form of return to the beginning. Sociology, emerging in an era that equated scientific and technological advancement with progress, at first tended to reject such cyclical metaphors in favor of more evolutionary or revolutionary ones that emphasized the forward motion of progress. Conflict within Social MovementsCLICK TO SHOW p.466 INEQUALITY MATTERS SPORTS AND SOCIAL CHANGE Photo Researchers, Inc. Baseball player Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play in on a Major League Baseball team. He was recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers and played for the team for the first time in 1947. In 1997, his uniform number, 42, was retired across major league baseball.  For many of us, sports play an important role in our lives: From watching the Olympics to rooting for our college teams to playing weekend games with friends, we take pleasure in the competition, the action, and the company. At some pivotal points in U.S. history, sports have also played an important role in driving social change. Consider the 1972 passage of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Title IX is credited with, among other things, opening up unprecedented opportunities for girls and young women to participate in organized sports, because it requires every school receiving federal funding to offer team sports to both male and female athletes and prohibits the denial of equal participation opportunities for women in organized sports. In the year prior to the implementation of Title IX, just a little more than 300,000 girls and women were playing high school and college sports across the United States. By 2012, the figure was well over 3 million (“Before and After Title IX,” 2012). Before Title IX, however, a young athlete with big dreams was an important driver of social change in racial integration in the United States. Some sports sociologists suggest that Jackie Robinson, the first African American player to integrate Major League Baseball, drove the first significant change in Black and White relations in the 20th century. In the words of sociologist Richard Zamoff, “A year before President [Harry] Truman’s executive order desegregating the military, seven years before Brown v. Board of Education, and more than ten years before most people in America had ever heard about Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King, Jr.” (personal communication, 2014), Jackie Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers team initiated a sometimes fraught but entirely necessary dialogue in U.S. society about race relations and integration. In the words of Gerald Early (2011), we can divide Black–White relations in the 20th century into two periods: “before Robinson and after Robinson.” Before Robinson’s integration of the minor leagues in 1946 and then the Major League in 1947, professional baseball had been segregated for more than half a century. Robinson’s debut with the Dodgers was not welcomed in all quarters, and he suffered threats and abuse from fans, the press, and even other players. Notably, Robinson had agreed to the condition imposed by Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey that he not fight back in response to the racist taunts. By the end of the season, Robinson had not only endured the intense challenges of integrating the league but had also won the admiration of scores of fans with his grace under fire and his athletic achievements, which included helping to lead his team to the National League pennant and an appearance in the World Series in his first year with the Dodgers. p.467 Jackie Robinson has been widely recognized for both his individual accomplishments and the contributions he made to the game of baseball and a society still struggling with racism in the middle of the 20th century. Interestingly, 25 years after his initial integration of baseball, he nearly refused to participate in a commemorative event because of his disappointment in the fact that Major League Baseball had yet to appoint a Black team manager. The first Black manager of a Major League Baseball team was hired by the Cleveland Indians in 1975, 3 years after Robinson’s death. Sports has been a driver of social change in the United States and across the globe. The progress it has wrought is, as Robinson saw, incomplete and imperfect but nonetheless of great significance. THINK IT THROUGH  What makes sports a potential vehicle for social change rather than “just a game”? Can you think of other instances in which sports or particular athletes have had a powerful social impact?     There have been a number of significant exceptions, however, among historically oriented social theorists. Pitirim Sorokin (1957/1970, 1962), a historical sociologist of the mid-20th century, argued that societies alternate among three different kinds of mentalities: those that give primacy to the senses, those that emphasize religiosity, and those that celebrate logic and reason. Societies that value hedonism and the satisfaction of immediate pleasures more highly than the achievement of long-term goals give primacy to the senses; religiosity occurs in societies that value following the tenets of a religion over enjoying the senses or solving problems through logic and reason. We tend to think of modern societies as defined largely by the emphasis on logic and reason. Societies everywhere have contained a mixture of religiosity, an emphasis on the senses, and the celebration of logic and reason. Sorokin’s “ideal types” may nonetheless be useful for describing the relative emphasis of each of these modes of adaptation in different societies. For example, we might say that the modern Western world puts greater emphasis on logic and reason than on religion or giving primacy to the senses; it would be a mistake, however, to say that there is no emphasis on the senses or religion, because these traits too play important roles in shaping the modern Western world. In The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), historian Paul Kennedy traces the conditions associated with national power and decline during the past five centuries. As nations grow in economic power, he argues, they often seek to become world military powers as well, a goal that in the long run proves to be their undoing. Wielding global military power eventually weakens a nation’s domestic economy, undermining the prosperity that once fueled it. Kennedy forecasts that this might well be the fate of the United States. More recently, writer Cullen Murphy (2007) has pointed to parallels between the Roman Empire and the United States, noting that Rome too was characterized by an overburdened and costly military, a deep sense of exceptionalism, and a tendency to denigrate and misunderstand other cultures. He notes as well the Roman pattern of shifting the onus for providing services to citizens away from the public sector to the private sector, seeing this as a form of enrichment for the few but a disadvantage for the many. A key point in rise-and-fall narratives is that social change can be both progressive and regressive—power does not invariably beget more power; it may also beget decline. The most renowned sociologist considered by some to be a cyclical theorist is Max Weber. Although he took an evolutionary view of society as increasingly moving toward a politically and economically legal-rational society governed by rules and regulations, Weber (1919/1946) also emphasized the role of irrational elements in shaping human behavior. For example, while he wrote about the growing formal rationality of the modern world, he also recognized the possibility that a society’s path could be altered by the appearance of a charismatic figure whose singular personal authority transcended institutionalized authority structures. Leaders who drastically changed a nation’s trajectory include Haile Selassie, who governed Ethiopia for half a century, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Mao Zedong in China, and Fidel Castro in Cuba. In the United States, Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement in the 1960s and fundamentally changed race relations. p.468 AFP / Stringer/Getty Images Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a transformational dream. His words and deeds inspired and continue to inspire social change. The actions of a single person can be truly significant.  Cyclical theories have not enjoyed great popularity among sociologists. Even Weber’s theory is not truly cyclical; his idea of charismatic authority is a sort of wild card, providing an unpredictable twist in an otherwise predictable march of social change from one form of authority to another. The more far-reaching versions of cyclical theory, such as Sorokin’s theory that society swings among three different worldviews, are framed in such broad terms that it is challenging to prove them right or wrong. SOURCES OF SOCIAL CHANGE Social change ultimately results from human action. Sociologists studying how change occurs often analyze the mass action of large numbers of people and the institutionalized behaviors of organizations. In this section we examine social change within the context of mass action by groups of people, focusing on theories of collective behavior and the role played by social movements. COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR Collective behavior is voluntary, goal-oriented action that occurs in relatively disorganized situations in which society’s predominant social norms and values cease to govern individual behavior (Oberschall, 1973; Turner & Killian, 1987). Although collective behavior is usually associated with disorganized aggregates of people, it may also occur in highly regimented social contexts when order and discipline break down. Beginning with the writings of the 19th-century French sociologist Gustave Le Bon (1896/1960), the sociological study of collective behavior has been particularly concerned with the behavior of people in crowds—that is, temporary gatherings of closely interacting people with a common focus. People in crowds were traditionally seen as prone to being swept up in group emotions, losing their ability to make rational decisions as individuals. The “group mind” of the crowd has long been viewed as an irrational and dangerous aspect of modern societies, with crowds believed to consist of rootless, isolated individuals prone to herdlike behavior (Arendt, 1951; Fromm, 1941; Gaskell & Smith, 1981; Kornhauser, 1959). More recently, however, it has become clear that there can be a fair degree of social organization in crowds. For example, the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011–2012 and the Arab Spring revolutions, which began in late 2010, although representing spontaneous beginnings, quickly developed a degree of predictability and organization, and in turn became social movements. It is important to note that crowds alone do not constitute social movements, but they are a critical ingredient in most cases. We must rethink the very notion of “spontaneity” in a global context, given that the use of social media has been a precipitating factor in collective behaviors ranging from flash mobs to street protests to revolutions. Sociologists seek to explain the conditions that may lead a group of people to engage in collective behavior, whether violent or peaceful. Below we examine three principal sociological approaches: contagion theories, which emphasize nonsocial factors such as instincts; emergent norm theories, which seek out some kind of underlying social organization that leads a group to generate norms governing collective action; and value-added theories, which combine elements of personal, organizational, and social conditions in order to explain collective behavior. CONTAGION THEORIES  Contagion theories assume that human beings can revert to herdlike behavior when they come together in large crowds. Herbert Blumer (1951), drawing on symbolic interactionism, emphasized the role of raw imitation, which leads people in crowds to “mill about” much like a group of animals, stimulating and goading one another into movement actions, whether peaceful or violent. Individual acts, therefore, become contagious; they are unconsciously copied until they eventually explode into collective action. A skilled leader can effectively manipulate such behavior, “working the crowd” until it reaches a fever pitch. Moral PanicCLICK TO SHOW p.469 © Amy Sussman/Corbis On September 17, 2011, protesters filled the streets around Wall Street in New York City. Many carried signs protesting growing economic inequality in the United States. Occupy Wall Street demonstrators also spoke out for greater environmental protection, union power, campaign finance reform, an end to the war in Iraq, and myriad other social issues. The OWS movement has declined, but the issues it raised continue to spark activism like that described in the opening story.  Sociologists have used the contagion theory perspective to study the panic flights of crowds, “epidemics” of bizarre collective behaviors such as uncontrollable dancing or fainting, and reports of satanic child abuse. In 1983, a local “panic” erupted in a small California city after a parent of a preschool child accused teachers at her child’s school of raping and sodomizing dozens of students. The trial in the case stretched on for years, but no wrongdoing was ever proven and no defendant convicted. Accusations in the case, which drew on allegations from children and parents, included stories about teachers chopping up animals at the school, clubbing to death a horse, and sacrificing a baby. Public accounts of the trial unleashed a national panic about abuse and satanism in child-care facilities, though there was no serious documentation of such activities (Haberman, 2014). Some sociologists believe that a few well-publicized cases of deviant behavior—including wild accusations like those described above—can trigger imitative behavior until a virtual “epidemic” emerges that then feeds on itself (Goode, 2009). How does the contagion actually spread? What are the mechanisms that affect whether people imitate one another’s behavior in the interest of grabbing attention or promoting social change? In the case of the Occupy Wall Street movement, we might conclude that as increasing numbers of people realized there was an avenue they could use to protest the political and economic conditions in the United States, they began establishing Occupy camps all over the country. The decline of the movement over time was more gradual. The movement to bring a living wage to the fast-food sector has, arguably, taken on momentum in a similar fashion. While copycat behavior may build momentum rapidly, an explanation limited to this factor is unlikely to account fully for collective behavior. Furthermore, such explanations are sometimes used to discredit particular instances of collective behavior as resulting from an irrational (and therefore dangerous) tendency of people to jump on the bandwagon. Critics of the Occupy movement often depicted participants as little more than copycats engaging in occupying city space, rather than as members of a movement with serious concerns about the state of contemporary society. In the 1960s, some people dismissed antiwar and civil rights protesters as misled “flower children” rather than recognizing them as people concerned about injustice and war. Sociologists, however, seek ways to determine why collective behavior occurs and to understand the rational and organizational basis for its emergence (Chafetz & Dworkin, 1983; Wright, 1993). We look next at what some other theories suggest. EMERGENT NORM THEORIES  Most sociologists prefer to look for norms and values that shape conscious human behavior rather than rely on the idea that instincts govern unconscious processes. Some have suggested that emergent norms offer an explanation for collective behavior. We can define emergent norms as norms that are situationally created to support a collective action. For example, Ralph H. Turner and Lewis M. Killian (1987) argue that even when crowd behavior appears chaotic and disorganized, norms emerge that explain the crowd’s actions. Crowd members take stock of what is going on around them, are mindful of their personal motivations, and, in general, collectively define the situation in which they find themselves. In this respect, crowd behavior is not very different from ordinary behavior; there is no need to fall back on “instincts” or “contagion” to explain it. The Tea Party political movement in the United States (which we discussed briefly in Chapter 13) began as a collective protest against “big government.” It soon developed a package of emergent norms that morphed into a political movement emphasizing the importance of getting like-minded politicians elected to office, as well as norms that emphasized the importance of adherence to the central ideas of the U.S. Constitution, lower taxes, more limited government, and reduced government spending. The emergent norm approach offers only a partial explanation of collective behavior. First, all crowds do not develop norms that govern their actions; crowds often emerge out of shared sets of norms among the participants. Second, purely spontaneous emotional outbursts may also occur as people act on their immediate impulses. Furthermore, when norms governing crowd behavior do emerge, they are unlikely by themselves to account fully for collective behavior. When an amateurish video appeared on the Internet in the fall of 2012 depicting the Prophet Muhammad in an unfavorable and even absurd light, crowds spontaneously gathered in some Middle Eastern countries to protest against the United States, where the video was made. These crowds were responding to religious leaders who informed their members of the existence of the video and encouraged protests. Emergent norms played little part in these actions; the norms (and grievances) being expressed had long historical standing in the communities where the protests took place. Social Change and Non-ViolenceCLICK TO SHOW Tea Party MovementCLICK TO SHOW p.470 VALUE-ADDED THEORY  Both contagion and emergent norm theories focus primarily on the micro level of individual action and thought, largely ignoring macro-level factors—poverty, unemployment, governmental abuses of authority, and so on—that may explain the emergence of collective behavior. More than 50 years ago, Neil Smelser (1962) sought to develop what he termed a “value-added” approach to understanding collective behavior. He identified a number of both micro- and macro-level factors that each contribute something of value to the outcome and that form a foundation for collective behavior. Think about a revolution or social movement discussed in this chapter or that you have learned about elsewhere—can you identify the factors below in that context? 1.   Structural conduciveness exists when the existing social structure favors the emergence of collective behavior. 2.   Structural strain occurs when the social system breaks down. 3.   Generalized beliefs are shared explanations of the conditions that are troubling people. People must define the problem, identify its causes, and—to use C. Wright Mills’s phrase—come to see their personal problems as public issues. 4.   Precipitating factors are dramatic events that confirm the generalized beliefs of the group, thereby triggering action. 5.   Mobilization for action occurs when leaders arise who encourage action. 6.   The failure of social control leaves those charged with maintaining law and order unable to do so in the face of mounting pressures for collective action. Smelser’s approach has been used to analyze collective behavior in a variety of settings, including self-help groups (Smith & Pillemer, 1983), social welfare organizations (Smith & Moses, 1980), and nuclear-weapons-freeze activism (Tygart, 1987). The theory’s strength is that it combines societal-, organizational-, and individual-level factors into one comprehensive theory. Yet it has also been criticized for emphasizing the part that people’s reactions play in collective behavior more than the fact that people themselves are conscious agents creating the conditions required for social change. HOW DO CROWDS ACT? We have all participated in some form of collective behavior in our social lives. Collective behavior comes in a spectrum of different forms, including riots, fads, fashions, panics, crazes, and rumors. We discuss each of these forms of collective behavior in turn below. © Lee Jin-man/ /AP/Corb The mass demonstrations against police brutality that took place in late 2014 were precipitated by a series of deaths of unarmed Black men at the hands of police and decisions of several grand juries not to indict officers involved in the deaths. In this photo, students at American University in Washington, DC, participate in a protest action.  RIOTS  A riot is an illegal, prolonged outbreak of violent behavior by a large group of people directed against individuals or property. Riots represent a form of crowd behavior; often they are spontaneous, although sometimes they are motivated by a conscious set of concerns. Prison and urban riots are common examples. During a riot, conventional norms, including respect for the private property of others, are suspended and replaced with other norms developed within the group. For example, inmates may destroy property to force prison officials to adopt more humane practices, and the theft of property during an urban riot may reflect the participants’ desire for a more equitable distribution of resources. The very use of the term riot to characterize a particular action is often highly political. In 1773, a crowd of Bostonians protesting British taxation of the American colonies seized a shipment of tea from a British vessel and dumped it into Boston Harbor. While the British Crown roundly condemned this action as the illegal act of a rioting mob, U.S. history books celebrate the “Boston Tea Party” as the noble act of inspired patriots and an opening salvo in the Revolutionary War. ‘Occupy’ MovementCLICK TO SHOW p.471 © The Granger Collection, NYC—All rights reserved A historically notable panic actually happened unintentionally. A 1938 Halloween radio broadcast narrated H. G. Wells’s science fiction novel. Many listeners did not realize that the radio was broadcasting a work of fiction, causing them to panic.  FADS AND FASHIONS  The desire to join others in being different (itself perhaps something of an irony) continually feeds the rise of new looks and sounds. Fads, or temporary, highly imitated outbreaks of mildly unconventional behavior, are particularly common responses to popular entertainment such as music, movies, and books and require social networks (electronic or otherwise) in order to spread (Iribarren & Moro, 2007). The fads of piercing body parts to wear ornaments and extensive body tattooing have captured several generations and seem to be continuing today. Other fads have included wearing blue jeans with holes in the knees, staging “panty raids” on sorority houses, and adopting the “hipster” style popularized by young people united by a common interest in alternative music and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. As fads become popular, they sometimes cease being fads and instead become fashions, that is, somewhat long-lasting styles of imitative behavior or appearance. Georg Simmel (1904/1971) first examined the sociological implications of fashions more than a century ago. He pointed out that fashions reflect a tension between people’s desire to be different and their desire to conform. By adopting a fashion, a person initially appears to stand out from the group, yet the fashion itself reflects group norms. As the fashion catches on, more and more people adopt it, and it eventually ceases to express any degree of individuality. Its very success undermines its attractiveness, so the eventual fate of all fashions is to become unfashionable. Simmel’s observations offer another insight into fashions: Unlike fads, they often grow out of the continuous and well-organized efforts of those who work in design, manufacturing technology, marketing, and media to define what is in style. As “grunge” music became popular, it spawned a profitable clothing industry, and highly paid fashion designers created clothing that was grungy in everything but price. Today there are several fashion trends that resonate with different audiences and subcultures. Whether it is the hipster look of skinny jeans, oversized glasses, and ironic sweatshirts or the EDM (electronic dance music) scene of neon colors, high-waist shorts, and playful accessories, manufacturers will spend millions of dollars attempting to convince youthful consumers that they must buy particular products in order to be fashionable and popular. PANICS AND CRAZES  A panic is a massive flight from something feared. The most celebrated example was created by an infamous radio broadcast on the night before Halloween in 1938: Orson Welles’s Mercury Theatre rendition of H. G. Wells’s science fiction novel War of the Worlds. The broadcast managed to convince thousands that Martians had landed in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, and were wreaking havoc with deadly laser beams. People panicked, flooded the telephone lines with calls, and fled to “safer” ground. Panics are often ignited by the belief that something is awry in the corporate world or in consumer technology. As the year 2000 approached, panic over the Y2K problem, also known as the “millennium bug,” gripped many people who believed reports that computer systems worldwide would crash when the year 2000 began (supposedly computers would be unable to distinguish the year 2000 from 1900, because they used only two digits to designate the year). A recent example of a panic involved the Mayan calendar, which was projected to “end” during our calendar equivalent of December 2012. The fact that the structure of the Mayan calendar and the Mayan system of counting and noting dates did not pass December 2012 led many to believe that the Mayans had predicted the end of the world. Some panics, like that around Y2K, reflect the fear that, in modern industrial society, we are highly dependent on products and technological processes about which we have little knowledge and over which we have no control. A craze is an intense attraction to an object, a person, or an activity. Crazes are like fads but more intense. Body disfigurement has been a periodic craze, ranging from nose piercing to putting rings through nipples, belly buttons, lips, and tongues. The fact that these practices instill horror in some people probably accounts in part for the attraction they hold for others. In many cultures, body disfigurement is considered a necessary condition of beauty or attractiveness. While such practices would be regarded as crazes in the West, they are normal enhancements of beauty in other cultures (Brown, Edwards, & Moore, 1988). 50 Years Before Ferguson, MOCLICK TO SHOW p.472 Rumors are unverified forms of information that are transmitted informally, usually originating in unknown sources. The classic study on rumors was conducted more than 65 years ago by Gordon W. Allport and Leo Postman (1947). In one version of this research, a White student was asked to study a photograph depicting an urban scene: two men on a subway car, one menacing the other. The student was then asked to describe the picture to a second White student, who in turn was asked to pass the information along to a third, and so on. Eventually, after numerous retellings, the information changed completely to reflect the students’ previously held beliefs. For example, as the “rumor” in the study took shape, the person engaging in the menacing act was described as Black and the victim as White—even though in the actual photograph the reverse was true. Allport and Postman’s research revealed a number of features unique to rumors. The information they contain is continually reorganized according to the belief systems of those who are passing them along. Some information is forgotten, and some is altered to fit into more familiar frameworks, such as racist preconceptions in the example above. Furthermore, the degree of alteration varies according to the nature of the rumor; it is greatest for rumors that trigger strong emotions or that pass through large numbers of people. For a rumor to have an effect, it must tap into collectively held beliefs, fears, or hopes. For some the rumor that the world will be ending imminently is a hopeful message; for others it is a source of great fear. Rumors often reinforce subcultural beliefs. The rumor that the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency are planting listening devices in everyone’s homes feeds into the belief that the government is out to control us. Political campaigns are infamous for starting and perpetuating rumors: For example, the rumors that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen, is a Muslim, and is trying to create European-style socialism in the United States have been spread by political opponents. Despite the fact that an abundance of evidence contradicts these rumors, some groups have embraced them. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Theories of collective behavior generally emphasize the passive, reactive side of human behavior. Social movement theory, in contrast, regards human beings as the active makers of their own history—agents who have visions and goals, analyze existing conditions, weigh alternative courses of action, and organize themselves as best they can to achieve success. A social movement is a large number of people who come together in a continuing and organized effort to bring about (or resist) social change, and who rely at least partially on noninstitutionalized forms of political action. Social movements thus have one foot outside the political establishment, and this is what distinguishes them from other efforts aimed at bringing about social change. Their political activities are not limited to such routine efforts as lobbying or campaigning; they include noninstitutionalized political actions such as boycotts, marches and other demonstrations, and civil disobedience. Social movements often include some degree of formal organization oriented toward achieving longer-term goals, along with supporting sets of beliefs and opinions, but their strength often derives from their ability to disrupt the status quo by means of spontaneous, relatively unorganized political actions. As part of its support for the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) advocated the disruption of normal business activities, such as boycotting buses and restaurants, in order to force integration. The people who participate in social movements typically are outside the existing set of power relationships in society; such movements provide one of the few forms of political voice available to the relatively powerless (McAdam, McCarthy, & Zald, 1988; Tarrow, 1994). A recent example is the Dreamer movement, which supports passage of the Dream Act. This immigration reform legislation would allow undocumented young people who migrated to the United States with their families when they were children to have access to higher education and, over time, permanent residency or citizenship. An executive order signed by President Obama in 2012 allows the Dreamers to apply for deferred action permits and avoid deportation under certain conditions. The Dreamer movement is active at the time of this writing. The body of research on social movements in the United States is partially the result of movements that began in the late 1950s and gained attention and support in the 1960s and early 1970s. Theories of collective behavior, with their emphasis on the seemingly irrational actions of unorganized crowds, were ill equipped to explain the rise of well-organized efforts by hundreds of thousands of people to change government policies toward the Vietnam War and civil rights for African Americans. As these two social movements spawned others, including the second-wave feminist movement, which saw women demanding greater rights and opportunities in the workplace, sociologists had to rethink their basic assumptions and develop new theoretical perspectives. Below we examine different types of social movements, looking especially at sociological theories about why they arise. TYPES OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS © Parker Haeg/Demotix/Corb Political activism swept the country in the 1960s and 1970s with widespread demonstrations focused on civil rights, women’s rights, and the Vietnam War. The dramatic protests and social transformations of this period helped fuel the reformulation of theories on social change.  Social movements are typically classified according to the direction and degree of change they seek. For purposes of our discussion, we will distinguish five different kinds: reformist, revolutionary, rebellious, reactionary, and utopian (Table 18.1). In fact, these distinctions are not clear-cut, and the categories are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they represent ideal types. In the final section of the chapter, we will also consider some examples of a new sixth category: social movements that aim to change values and beliefs. Social MovementsCLICK TO SHOW p.473 REFORMIST MOVEMENTS  Reformist social movements seek to bring about social change within the existing economic and political system and usually address institutions such as the courts and lawmaking bodies and/or public officials. They are most often found in societies where democratic institutions make it possible to achieve social change within the established political processes. Yet even reformist social movements can include factions that advocate more sweeping, revolutionary social changes. Sometimes the government fails to respond, or it responds very slowly, raising frustrations. At other times, the government may actively repress a movement, arresting its leaders, breaking up its demonstrations, and even outlawing its activities. © ISHARA S.KODIKARA / Stringer/Getty Images The Dreamer movement consists of people who support immigration reform, including access to opportunities and a legitimate route to residency or citizenship for young people brought to the United States by undocumented parents. Many have been barred from educational institutions or job opportunities due to their immigration status.  The American Woman Suffrage Association, formed in 1869 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was a reformist organization that resulted in significant social changes. During the latter part of the 19th century, it became one of the most powerful political forces in the United States, seeking to liberate women from oppression and ensure them the right to vote (Vellacott, 1993), precipitating the first wave of the women’s movement. In 1872, Victoria Woodhull helped to organize the Equal Rights Party, which nominated her for the U.S. presidency (even though, by law, no woman could vote for her); she campaigned on the issues of voting rights for women, the right of women to earn and control their own money, and free love (Underhill, 1995). After a half century of struggle by numerous social movement activists, women finally won the right to vote with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The civil rights movement of the late 1950s and the 1960s called for social changes that would enforce the constitutionally mandated civil rights of African Americans; it often included nonviolent civil disobedience directed at breaking unjust laws. The ultimate aim of the civil rights movement was to change those laws, rather than to change society as a whole. Thus, for example, when Rosa Parks violated the laws of Montgomery, Alabama, by refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a White person, she was challenging the city ordinance, but not the government itself. p.474 TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY #SOCIALCHANGE © Parker Haeg/Demotix/Corbis A preeminent form of social activism today is what has been termed “hashtag activism” (Dewey, 2014), essentially the movement to spread awareness online regarding social issues embraced and defined as important by well-known public figures and ordinary people alike. Hashtag activism is conducted on Twitter, an Internet platform actively used by 255 million account holders across the world and passively followed by millions more (Twitter, 2014). According to a study conducted for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, in 2013, 18% of online adults had Twitter accounts (a 2% increase from the year before) (Duggan & Smith, 2014). Twitter is not the only online platform used for social activism, but it has played a part in a number of broad public campaigns, such as the effort to capture alleged war criminal Joseph Kony, wanted for crimes of mass murder and rape in Uganda (#Kony2012), and the effort to draw attention to injustice in the killing of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of the man who shot him, George Zimmerman (#JusticeforTrayvon). In the spring of 2014, a major campaign of hashtag activism was undertaken in response to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from a provincial Nigerian boarding school. Outrage over the girls’ abduction by a self-proclaimed radical Islamic group called Boko Haram (which means “Western education is a sin” in the local Hausa language) spread quickly in April and May of that year from domestic Nigerian activists and the young women’s aggrieved parents to become a global movement functioning primarily online through #BringBackOurGirls. Among the political and cultural luminaries tweeting their support of the kidnapped girls and demanding their safe return were First Lady Michelle Obama, British prime minister David Cameron, media personalities Ellen DeGeneres and Piers Morgan, young Pakistani activist for women’s and girls’ rights Malala Yousafzai, and even celebrities like Chris Rock and Amy Poehler. By the beginning of May, #BringBackOurGirls had accrued well over 2 million tweets (McGann, 2014). Online appeals also spurred public protests outside Nigeria, including demonstrations in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., calling for the safe return of the kidnapped girls. Hashtag activism is, arguably, a potentially powerful technological instrument of social activism. First, it is a means for raising awareness of issues that might otherwise go unnoticed in our information-saturated modern world, particularly if well-known figures involve themselves in campaigns (as was the case in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign). Supporters of social media activism point out that heightened public awareness can put pressure on officials who are in a position to make or change policies or foster action on actionable issues (Seay, 2014). Second, hashtag activism has the potential to draw together concerned individuals and groups across the globe who might not otherwise have a means for uniting around a common cause. p.475 Such activism is not without its critics, however. It has been termed “slacktivism” and “armchair activism.” According to a Washington Post article on this modern phenomenon, “Users are urged to ‘like’ posts and pages on Facebook, share Twitter and blog posts with everyone they know, and to create videos or take a picture for Instagram relating to their cause” (Seay, 2014). “Slacktivism” has been the subject of recent social scientific research in which it was defined as the “willingness to perform a relatively costless, token display of support for a social cause, with an accompanying lack of willingness to devote significant effort to meaningful change” (Kristofferson, White, & Peloza, 2014, p. 1149). The researchers examined the question of whether “slacktivism” is likely to translate into more substantial (more costly or time-consuming or long-term) engagement with a cause. Interestingly, they found that those whose initial “activism” was private rather than public (for instance, writing a letter to a member of Congress versus “liking” or posting on Facebook) were more likely to engage deeply in the cause of interest. Public proclamations of interest were less likely to translate into meaningful engagement. Online social activism is likely to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, and we are likely to see hashtag and similar campaigns that seek our attention to a range of social, political, economic, and environmental issues. Sociological engagement with this phenomenon is still in its infancy. What would you like to know about it? How would you go about researching online social activism? THINK IT THROUGH  What are the strengths of online activism? What are its weaknesses? In what cases might it be more or less effective in fostering social change?     TABLE 18.1   Principal Types of Social Movements p.476 © David Turnley/Corbis Revolutionary social movements are not always violent. In Czechoslovakia (now the two countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia), the Communist regime led by General Secretary Miloš Jakeš ceded power in 1989 and allowed for a peaceful democratic transition to take place.  Much early civil rights activism was oriented toward registering southern Blacks to vote, so that by exercising their legal franchise, they could achieve a measure of political power. Within the civil rights movement, however, there were activists who concluded that the rights of Black Americans would never be achieved through reformist activities alone. Like many social movements, the civil rights movement was marked by internal struggles and debates regarding the degree to which purely reformist activities were adequate to the movement’s objectives (Branch, 1988). The Black Panther Party, for example, argued for far more radical changes in U.S. society, advocating “Black power” instead of merely fighting for an end to racial segregation. The Black Panthers often engaged in reformist activities, such as establishing community centers and calling for the establishment and support of more Black-owned businesses. At the same time, they also engaged in revolutionary activities, such as arming themselves against what they viewed to be a hostile police presence within Black neighborhoods. The experience of U.S. labor unions, another example of a reformist social movement, shows the limits of the reformist approach to social change. Organized labor’s principal demands have been for fewer hours, higher wages and benefits, job security, and safer working conditions. (In Europe, similar demands have been made, although workers there have sought political power as well.) Labor unions within the United States seldom appeal to a broad constituency beyond the workers themselves, and as a result, their success has depended largely on workers’ economic power. U.S. workers have lost much of that power since the early 1970s, as economic globalization has meant the loss of many jobs to low-wage areas. Threats of strikes are no longer quite as menacing, as corporations can close factories down and reopen them elsewhere in the world. REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS  Revolutionary social movements seek to fundamentally alter the existing social, political, and economic system in keeping with a vision of a new social order. They frequently result from the belief that reformist approaches are unlikely to succeed because the political or economic system is too resistant. In fact, whether a social movement becomes predominantly reformist or revolutionary may well hinge on the degree to which its objectives can be achieved within the system. Revolutionary movements call for basic changes in economics, politics, norms, and values, offering a blueprint for a new social order that can be achieved only through mass action, usually by fostering conflict between those who favor change and those who favor the status quo. They are directed at clearly identifiable targets, such as a system of government believed to be unjust or an economy believed to be based on exploitation. Yet even the most revolutionary of social movements is likely to have reformist elements, members or factions who believe some change is possible within the established institutions. In most social movements, members debate the relative importance of reformist and revolutionary activities. While the rhetoric may favor revolution, most day-to-day activities are likely to support reform. Only when a social movement is suppressed and avenues to reform are closed off will its methods call for outright revolution. Revolutionary social movements sometimes, although by no means always, include violence. In South Africa, for example, the movements that were most successful in bringing about an end to apartheid were largely nonviolent. Those that defeated socialism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe did so with a minimal amount of bloodshed. However, revolutionary movements associated with the Arab Spring, which began in 2010 in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, have resulted in considerable violence, most often perpetrated against the protesters by those already in power or their allies. It has yet to be determined whether the Arab Spring movements have been truly revolutionary; some new governments are not radically more democratic than their predecessors. It takes time for political and economic conditions to change within any given country, and while some dictators have been removed from power, it remains to be seen whether these changes in political office will result in the changes desired by constituents. REBELLIONS  Rebellions seek to overthrow the existing social, political, and economic systems but lack detailed plans for a new social order. They are particularly common in societies where effective mobilization against existing structures is difficult or impossible because of the structures’ repressive nature. The histories of European feudalism and U.S. slavery are punctuated by examples of rebellions. Nat Turner, a Black American slave, led other slaves in an 1831 uprising against their White owners in the state of Virginia. Before the uprising was suppressed, 55 Whites were killed, and subsequently Turner and 16 of his followers were hanged (Greenberg, 2003). Social RevolutionsCLICK TO SHOW p.477 BEHIND THE NUMBERS MILLIONS OF DEMONSTRATORS… OR NOT REUTERS/Lucas Jackson What kind of collective action or issue would bring you out into the street?  How many demonstrators attended a protest action on a given day in a particular place? This can be a surprisingly contentious issue. For example, how many people attended the Million Man March, a huge 1995 grassroots gathering intended to highlight issues of concern to urban and minority men and their families? As Ira Flatow noted on the National Public Radio program Science Friday in 2010: “It depends on whom you ask. According to the U.S. Park Police, about 400,000. But the organizers of the march took issue with that number and asked for a recount. And using different images… a crowd counting expert at Boston University estimated the crowd to be closer to 800,000—almost twice the number that the Park Service had.” Once you become familiar with the importance of research methods, you find that the method of obtaining information can be at least as important as the information itself. When a statistic, fact, or figure is produced, it is always important to consider the process behind its production. We often hear media accounts that report numbers of demonstrators in given units of space or time (for instance, there are 200 protesters in New York City, or there are 200,000 demonstrators on the National Mall). During the peak months of the Occupy movement, it was common for news organizations to report figures ostensibly representing the numbers of participants attending various actions. Where do these numbers come from? Who is keeping count? In taking a critical look behind the numbers in the U.S. case, we find that the National Park Service does not conduct official head counts of the demonstrators in given public spaces. McPherson Square, a park in Washington, D.C., was one of two nuclei for the Occupy movement in that city. The National Park Service conducted periodic estimates of the crowds there to ensure they did not surpass the regulated limit of 500 protesters (Farhi, 2011). Nevertheless, these estimates were not methodologically rigorous. Journalists often rely on best-guess estimates for crowds. Satellite pictures have become sources of information on crowds, though each such photo captures just a few moments in time (National Public Radio, 2010). So how does one get a good count of the number of participants at any given event? Stephen K. Doig, a professor at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, has a formula. He asserts that we can get closer to the “objective and scientifically accurate” end of the estimating spectrum if we know the following three variables: the human density of the demonstration, the carrying capacity of the space, and how much of the available space is occupied (National Public Radio, 2010). A perfect count, however, will likely remain elusive. THINK IT THROUGH  Why are counts of participants at public demonstrations potentially controversial and contested? What makes them significant? p.478 © JIM LO SCALZO/epa/Corbis After the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan instituted vigilante justice and lynched over 4,000 African Americans for alleged crimes, including looking “the wrong way” at a White woman. White supremacist groups exemplify a resistance or countermovement that rejects racial integration and expansion of civil rights.  REACTIONARY MOVEMENTS  Reactionary social movements seek to restore an earlier social system—often based on a mythical past—along with the traditional norms and values that once presumably accompanied it. These movements are termed reactionary because they arise in reaction to recent social changes that threaten or have replaced the old order. They are also sometimes referred to as countermovements or resistance movementsfor the same reason. For these groups, a mythical past is often the starting point for pursuing goals aimed at transforming the present. The Ku Klux Klan, the White Aryan Resistance, and other White supremacist organizations have long sought to return to a United States where Whites held exclusive political and economic power. Their methods have ranged from spreading discredited social and biological theories that expound the superiority of the “White race” to acts of violence against Black Americans, Asians, Latinos, Jews, gays and lesbians, and others deemed to be inferior or otherwise a threat to the “American way of life” (Gerhardt, 1989; Moore, 1991). Whether a social movement is viewed as reactionary or revolutionary depends to some extent on the observer’s perspective. In Iran, for example, a social movement led by the Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the nation’s pro-U.S. leader in 1979 and created an Islamic republic that quickly reestablished traditional Muslim laws. In the pronouncements of U.S. policy makers and the mass media, the new Iranian regime was reactionary: It required women to be veiled, turned its back on democratic institutions, and levied death sentences on those who violated key Islamic values or otherwise threatened the Islamic state. Yet from the point of view of the clerics who led the upheaval, the movement overthrew a corrupt and brutal dictator who had enriched his family at the expense of the Iranian people and had fostered an alien way of life offensive to traditional Iranian values. From this standpoint, the movement claimed to be revolutionary, promising to provide a better life for Iranians. As globalization threatens traditional ways of life around the world, we might expect to see an increase in reactionary social movements. This is especially likely to be the case if threats to long-standing traditional values are accompanied by declines in standards of living. In Germany, for example, a decline in living standards for many working-class people has spawned a small but significant resurgence of Nazi ideology, and racial supremacist groups blame foreign immigrants for their economic woes. The result has been a vocal campaign by skinhead groups against immigrants, particularly in the states that made up the former East Germany, which have seen greater economic upheavals than other parts of the country. Social movement participants frequently stage public demonstrations to spread their messages. Sometimes the sizes of protesting groups—which may be small but very vocal or may be awe-inspiring—are unclear, as we see in the Behind the Numbers box on page 477. UTOPIAN MOVEMENTS  Utopian social movements seek to withdraw from the dominant society by creating their own ideal communities. The youth movements of the 1960s had a strong utopian impulse; many young (and a few older) people “dropped out” and formed their own communities, starting alternative newspapers, health clinics, and schools and in general seeking to live according to their own value systems outside the established social institutions. Some sought to live communally as well, pooling their resources and sharing tasks and responsibilities. They saw these efforts to create “intentional” communities, based on cooperation rather than competition, as the seeds of a revolutionary new society. Although religious utopian movements have proved to be somewhat enduring, those based on social philosophy have not. Some “utopian socialist” communities were founded in the United States during the 19th century; some provided models for the socialist collectives of the 1960s. Few lasted for any length of time. The old ways of thinking and acting proved remarkably tenacious, and the presence of the larger society—which remained basically unchanged by the experimentation—was a constant temptation. “Alternative” institutions such as communally run newspapers and health clinics found they had to contend with well-funded mainstream competitors. Most folded or reverted to mainstream forms (Fairfield, 1972; Nordhoff, 1875/1975; Rothschild & Whitt, 1987). p.479 WHY DO SOCIAL MOVEMENTS ARISE? Although social movements have existed throughout history, modern society has created conditions in which they thrive and multiply. The rise of the modern democratic nation-state, along with the development of capitalism, has fueled their growth. Democratic forms of governance, which emphasize social equality and the right of political participation, legitimate the belief that people should organize themselves politically to achieve their goals. Democratic nation-states give rise to social movements—and often protect them as well. Capitalism, which raises universal economic expectations while producing some inequality, further spurs the formation of such movements. Given these general historical circumstances, sociologists have advanced a number of theories to explain why people sometimes come together to create or resist social change. Some focus on the micro level, looking at the characteristics and motivations of the people who join social movements. Some focus on the organizational level, looking at the characteristics that result in successful social movement organizations. Some focus on the macro level, examining the societal conditions that give rise to social movements. More recently, theories have emphasized cultural dimensions of social movements, stressing the extent to which social movements reflect—as well as shape—larger cultural understandings. An ideal theory would bridge all these levels, and some efforts have been made to develop one. MICRO-LEVEL APPROACHES  Much research has focused on what motivates individuals to become active members of social movements. Psychological factors turn out to be poor predictors. Neither personality nor personal alienation adequately accounts for activist leanings. Rather, participation seems motivated more by psychological identification with others who are similarly afflicted (Marwell & Oliver, 1993; McAdam, 1982). Sociology generally explains activism in such terms as having had prior contact with movement members, belonging to social networks that support movement activity, and having a history of activism (McAdam, 1986; Snow, Zurcher, & Ekland-Olson, 1980). Coming from a family background of social activism may also be important. One study, for example, found that many White male activists during the early 1960s social movements had parents who themselves had been activists 30 years earlier (Flacks, 1971). A lack of personal constraints may also be a partial explanation; it is obviously easier for individuals to engage in political activity if work or family circumstances afford them the necessary time and resources (McCarthy & Zald, 1973). Finally, a sense of moral rightness may provide a powerful motivation to become active, even when the work is difficult and the monetary rewards are small or nonexistent (Jenkins, 1983). Social movements always suffer from the free rider problem, however—that is, many people avoid the costs of social movement activism (such as time, energy, and other personal resources) and still benefit from its success (Marwell & Oliver, 1993). Why not let others join the social movement and do the hard work, since if the movement succeeds everyone will benefit, regardless of degree of participation? Clearly it takes a great deal of motivation and commitment, as well as a conviction that their efforts may make a difference, for people to devote their time to mailing leaflets or organizing marches; building such motivation and commitment is a major challenge faced by all social movements. ORGANIZATIONAL-LEVEL APPROACHES  Some recent research has been devoted to understanding how social movements are consciously and deliberately organized to create social change. This research focuses on social movement organizations (SMOs), formal organizations that seek to achieve social change through noninstitutionalized forms of political action. The study of SMOs represents a major sociological step away from regarding social change as resulting from unorganized individuals and crowds. Instead, it places the study of social change within the framework of the sociology of organizations. Because social movement organizations constitute a type of formal organization, sociologists use the same concepts and tools to study civil rights organizations and revolutionary groups as they do to study business firms and government bureaucracies. Researchers conceptualize SMOs’ actions as rational, their goals as more or less clearly defined, and their organizational structures as bureaucratically oriented toward specific measurable goals (Jenkins, 1983; McCarthy & Zald, 1977). Social movement organizations range from informal volunteer groups to professional organizations with full-time leadership and staff. A single social movement may sustain numerous such organizations: A partial list associated with the 1960s civil rights movement includes the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and the Black Panther Party. As social movements grow, so too do the number of SMOs associated with them, each vying for members, financial support, and media attention. p.480 One influential approach to the study of social movement organizations is resource mobilization theory, a theory that focuses on the ability of social movement organizations to generate money, membership, and political support to achieve their objectives. This approach argues that since discontent and social strain are always present among some members of any society, these factors cannot explain the rise or the relative success of social movements. Rather, what matters are differences in the resources available to different groups and how effectively they use them. The task for sociologists, then, is to explain why some SMOs are better able to deploy scarce resources than others (Jenkins, 1983; McAdam, 1988). Among the most important resources are tangible assets such as money, facilities, and means of communication, as well as such intangibles such as a central core of dedicated, skilled, hardworking members (Jenkins, 1983). Much like businesses, then, social movement organizations rise or fall on their ability to be competitive in a resource-scarce environment. Some scholars have even written of “social movement industries,” with competing organizations engaging in “social marketing” to promote their particular “brands” of social change (Jenkins, 1983; Zald & McCarthy, 1980). Governmental policies are important determinants of the success or failure of social movement organizations. The government may repress an organization, driving it underground so that it has difficulty in operating. Or the government may favor more moderate organizations (for example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference) over other, more radical ones (such as the Black Panther Party). Other ways in which the government affects SMOs are through regulating them, providing favorable tax treatment for those that qualify, and refraining from excessive surveillance or harassment (McAdam et al., 1988). The success or failure of social movement organizations also depends on their ability to influence the mass media. During the 1960s, the anti–Vietnam War organizations became very effective in commanding the television spotlight, although this effectiveness proved a mixed blessing: Media coverage frequently sensationalized demonstrations rather than presenting the underlying issues, thus contributing to rivalries and tensions within the antiwar movement (Gitlin, 1980). Today, arguably, social media exercise even greater influence on movement success. Although some scholars have argued that larger, more bureaucratic social movement organizations are likely to be successful in the long run (Gamson, 1975), others have claimed that mass defiance, rather than formal organization, is the key to success (Piven & Cloward, 1977). Paradoxically, too much success may undermine social movements, since their strength derives partly from their being outside society’s power structures as they make highly visible demands for social change. Once a group’s demands are met, the participants are often drawn inside the very power structures they once sought to change. Movement leaders become bureaucrats, their fights are conducted by lawyers and government officials, and rank-and-file members disappear; the militant thrust of the organization is then blunted (Piven & Cloward, 1977). A related problem is goal displacement, which occurs when a social movement organization’s original goals become redirected toward enhancing the organization and its leadership (McCarthy & Zald, 1973). The U.S. labor movement is an example: Once labor unions became successful, many of them became large and prosperous bureaucracies that were perceived as distanced from the needs of their rank-and-file members. In the end, social movement organizations have to motivate people to support their causes, often with dollars as well as votes. Many groups engage in grassroots organizing, attempts to mobilize support among the ordinary members of a community. This organizing may range from door-to-door canvassing to leafleting to get people to attend massive demonstrations. Most social movements emerge from a group that has some grievance, and their active members consist largely of people who will directly benefit from any social change that occurs. Some social movement organizations also depend on conscience constituents, people who provide resources for a social movement organization but who are not themselves members of the aggrieved group that the organization champions (McCarthy & Zald, 1973). Such supporters are motivated by strong ethical convictions rather than by direct self-interest in achieving the social movement’s goals. The National Coalition for the Homeless, for example, consists primarily of public interest lawyers, shelter operators, and others who advocate on behalf of homeless people; only a relatively small number of homeless people are directly involved in the organization. Homeless advocacy groups raise money from numerous sources, including media celebrities and direct mailings to ordinary citizens (Blau, 1992). MACRO-LEVEL APPROACHES  Regardless of the efforts particular social movement organizations make, large-scale economic, political, and cultural conditions ultimately determine a movement’s success or failure. For a social movement to arise and succeed, conditions must be such that people feel it is necessary and are willing to support it. Therefore, social movements emerge and flourish in times of other social change, particularly if people experience that change as disruptive of their daily lives (McAdam et al., 1988; Tilly, 1978). For example, the labor movement arose with the emergence of industrial capitalism, which brought harsh conditions to the lives of many people, and the women’s movement reemerged in the 1960s, when expanded educational opportunities for women left many female college graduates feeling marginalized and alienated as full-time homemakers and workplace discrimination threw obstacles in the way of their workplace aspirations. p.481 AP Photo/JEFF WIDENER This iconic image shows one man standing in opposition to four tanks in Tiananmen Square, China, on June 5, 1989. Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators sought political and economic changes in a weeks long occupation of the square. Many were injured or killed in a government crackdown.  Some political systems encourage social movements, while others repress them (Gale, 1986). When a government is in crisis, it may respond by becoming more repressive, or it may create a space for social movements to flourish. The former action occurred in China in 1989, when thousands of students and workers, frustrated by deteriorating economic conditions and rigid government controls, took to the streets to demand greater economic and political freedom. The brutal crackdown at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, televised live to a global audience, ended the nascent social movement for democracy. Likewise, government crackdowns on demonstrators and social movement participants have been widespread throughout the Middle East and North Africa as the Arab Spring movements have progressed—Syria’s protest movement has, as of this writing, deteriorated into a civil war between the authoritarian government and those who seek its replacement. Just as economic and political collapse may facilitate the rise of social movements, so too may prosperity. Resources for social activism are more abundant, mass media and other means of communication are more likely to be readily available, and activists are more likely to have independent means of supporting themselves. Prosperous societies are also more likely to have large classes of well-educated people, a group that has historically provided the leadership in many social movements (McAdam et al., 1988; McCarthy & Zald, 1973; Zald & McCarthy, 1980). Finally, even the spatial organization of society has been seen as having an impact on social movements. Dense, concentrated neighborhoods or workplaces facilitate social interaction and spur the growth of social movements. A century and a half ago, Karl Marx recognized that cities and factories were powerful breeding grounds for revolutionary insurgency against capitalism, since they brought previously isolated workers together in single locations. Subsequent research has sustained his conclusion (Marx & Engels, 1848/1998; Tilly, 1975). The concentration of students on college campuses contributed to the rise of student activism in the 1960s (Lofland, 1985). CULTURAL-LEVEL STUDIES AND “FRAME ALIGNMENT”  Much of the research we have discussed emphasizes the political, economic, and organizational conditions that either help or hinder the rise of social movements. Sociologists have often regarded social movements as by-products of favorable social circumstances rather than as the active accomplishments of their members. Today, however, instead of stressing how important it is for conditions to be ripe for social movements to thrive, many sociologists are thinking about how social movement organizations themselves are continually interpreting events so as to align themselves better with the cultural understanding of the wider society. The Tea Party movement is a good example. While it has a long list of political goals it wants to achieve, it has succeeded in rallying people around the idea that “big government” and taxation are a threat to freedom and liberty. These are ideas that resonate with those who have some suspicion of intrusive government. The movement seeks to create a “good fit” between itself and the people who are its likely constituents. Sociologists think of that fit in terms of frame alignment, the process by which the interests, understandings, and values of a social movement organization are shaped to match those in the wider society. If their members’ understandings align with the understandings of others in a community or society, social movements are likely to be successful; otherwise they are likely to fail. Social movement organizations achieve frame alignment in a variety of ways, ranging from modifying the beliefs of members to attempting to change the beliefs of the entire society (Snow, Rochford, Worden, & Benford, 1986). In one common situation, people already share the social movement’s concerns and understandings but lack the means to bring about the desired changes. In this case, there is no need for the social movement organization to get people to change their thinking about the problem; rather, the task is to get people to support the movement’s efforts to do something about it. The SMO must “get the word out,” whether through informal networks, social media, or direct-mail campaigns. p.482 REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia While environmental activism has a long history in the United States, in the past 10 to 15 years it has been reignited and challenged in a debate over climate change. Scientists, academics, and activists are concerned by scientific evidence that global warming is being accelerated by human activity. Today there is a global environmental movement fighting for greater attention and resources.  Sometimes the social movement’s concerns are only weakly shared by others. In this case, the challenge for the social movement organization is to get people engaged and concerned enough to take action, perhaps by amplifying their concern that something they strongly believe in requires political action. The environmental movement is a case in point. Many scientists and a large number of other people are convinced that the earth is warming at a rapid rate due to the emission of industrial gases into the atmosphere. The movement has grown rapidly, but it has also produced a large number of skeptics, including politicians, who deny that climate change is taking place. Groups such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace and the owners of retail chains such as Patagonia and REI actively provide information on climate change to the public in the hope of spurring individuals to action. Finally, a social movement organization may seek to build support by attempting to change the way people think entirely. Revolutionary SMOs, for example, urge people to stop thinking of themselves as victims of bad luck, focusing attention instead on the faults of the political or economic system, which presumably requires a drastic overhaul. To sum up, social movement organizations are competing for the hearts and minds of their constituents, with whom they must somehow bring their own beliefs and analyses into alignment if they are to succeed. MICROMOBILIZATION CONTEXTS FOR BUILDING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Some conditions are ideal for social movement organizations to spring up. Sociologists call these micromobilization contexts, small-group settings in which people are able to generate a shared set of beliefs to explain some social problem, along with the necessary social organization to do something about it (McAdam et al., 1988). Both formal and informal social networks usually exist in these settings, making it easier for members to understand why a micro-level problem, such as a personal experience of racism, is in fact the result of macro-level social forces, such as institutional racism. The civil rights movement, for example, emerged at a time when the Black community was developing strong local organizations, including schools, churches, and political groups. These highly interconnected institutions provided fertile ground for the seeds of social activism (McAdam, 1982). Other examples are unions, student support groups, and even friendship networks, which are more elaborate in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media (Bekkers, Edwards, & Moody, 2010). Micromobilization contexts also create the basic organizational framework required to address a problem—including leadership, mass media, and other communications technologies—as well as specific roles for movement activists and motivation to get involved. These incentives range from the emotional rewards that come from belonging to a group dedicated to a common cause to paid salaries. Micromobilization contexts thus serve as the bridge that connects the personal concerns of individuals to collectives hoping to create large-scale social change (Abrahams, 1992; Scott, 1990). Finally, micromobilization contexts provide the starting point for cycles of protest that begin in one place and then spread—to new locations as well as to new social movements (Tarrow, 1983). Members of social movement organizations learn from one another and copy one another’s techniques, acquiring large repertoires of protest activities in the process (Bekkers et al., 2010; Tilly, 1978). NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Social movements have often served as a means to an end: People come together to achieve specific objectives, such as improving the conditions of workers, gaining equality for the disadvantaged, or protesting a war. In the past, participation in such social movements was often separate from members’ personal lives. Since the 1960s, however, many social movements have sought to break the boundary between politics and personal life. In addition to being a means for changing the world, the social movement organization has come to be seen as a vehicle for personal change and growth (Giugni & Passy, 1998). p.483 In a sense, this progression reflects the sociological imagination, which calls for us to understand the relationship between our personal experiences and larger social forces. Social movements that have embraced this perspective have been labeled new social movements. While they often address political and economic issues, they are fundamentally concerned with the quality of private life, often advocating large-scale changes in the way people think and act. New social movements may be formally organized, with clearly defined roles (leadership, recruiting, and so on), or they may be informal and loosely organized, preferring spontaneous and confrontational methods to more bureaucratic approaches. Part of the purpose of new social movements in protesting, in fact, is not to force a distinction between “them” and “us” but to draw attention to the movement’ own right to exist as equals with other groups in society (Gamson, 1989; Omvedt, 1992; Tucker, 1991). The new social movements aim to improve life in a wide range of areas subject to governmental, business, or other large-scale institutional control, from the workplace to sexuality, health, education, and interpersonal relationships. Four characteristics set these movements apart from earlier ones (Melucci, 1989): 1.   The new social movements focus not just on the distribution of material goods but also on the control of symbols and information—an appropriate goal for an “information society” in which the production and ownership of knowledge are increasingly valuable. 2.   People join new social movement organizations not purely to achieve specific goals but also because they value participation for its own sake. For instance, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) movements have provided safe havens for members in addition to pursuing social change. 3.   Rather than large, bureaucratically run, top-down organizations, the new social movements are often networks of people engaged in routine daily activities. For example, a small online movement was begun by a woman who objected to an unannounced $5 charge on her credit card bill; her protest was joined by thousands of others, and the bank rescinded the charge. Groups trying to raise awareness of climate change and threats to the environment often are loosely organized and register their concerns online and through other media such as newspapers and television talk shows. 4.   The new social movements strongly emphasize the interconnectedness of planetary life and may see their actions as tied to a vision of the planet as a whole, rather than centering on narrow self-interest. “Think globally, act locally” is the watchword and includes but is not limited to an acute awareness of environmental issues. WHY STUDY SOCIAL CHANGE? Human beings make their own history, but they do not make it out of thin air. Every generation inherits certain constraints, characteristics of the society that limit their vision and their choices, and resources, characteristics of the society that they can mobilize in new and creative ways. People are constrained by existing institutions and social relationships. Social structures provide the resources for human action, even as the actions themselves are oriented toward changing those structures (Giddens, 1985). The sociologically significant processes of globalization and technological change provide both resources and constraints for people everywhere. Social movements themselves may become increasingly internationalized (Marx & McAdam, 1994). Economic globalization, like most social processes, has both positive and negative effects. On one hand, it opens up the possibility of a vast increase in global productive capacity, technological advances, global cooperation, and an increase in the standard of living for people around the world. On the other hand, globalization may also lead to lowered wages and to job losses in high-wage industrial countries, as well as to exploitative labor conditions in the low-wage countries of the world. Concerns about such problems have given rise to labor and environmental groups that operate across national borders (Barry & Sims, 1994). We live at a moment in history that contains enormous possibilities as well as daunting problems. Without an understanding of these social forces, we will be unable to act intelligently to bring about the kind of world we most desire. Your understanding of the forces shaping social change today will enable you and tomorrow’s citizens to act more effectively to shape your social world. Violence Against Women Social MovementCLICK TO SHOW p.484 WHAT CAN I DO WITH A SOCIOLOGY DEGREE?       CAREER DEVELOPMENT: SELECTED SOCIOLOGY CAREER RESOURCES Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. The subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender, and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge. —American Sociological Association, 2005 The study of sociology offers a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills. Sociology majors can also benefit from knowledge of academic, professional, and career resources. This feature offers an overview of resources that you can use for further research. Additional resources are available at the book’s website. Professional Associations for Sociologists •    American Society of Criminology: www.asc41.com •    American Sociological Association: www.asanet.org •    Archaeological Institute of America: www.archaeological.org •    Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology: www.aacsnet.net •    Association for Humanist Sociology: web.ccsu.edu/ahs •    Eastern Sociological Society: www.essnet.org •    Good Works Foundation: www.goodworks.org •    International Sociological Association: www.isa-sociology.org •    Midwest Sociological Society: www.themss.org •    National Association for the Practice of Anthropology: www.practicinganthropology.org •    National Organization for Human Services: www.nationalhumanservices.org •    North Central Sociological Association: www.ncsanet.org •    Pacific Sociological Association: www.pacificsoc.org •    Social Science Research Council: www.ssrc.org •    Society for American Archaeology: www.saa.org •    Society for Applied Anthropology: www.sfaa.net •    Society for the Study of Social Problems: www.sssp1.org •    Sociologists for Women in Society: www.socwomen.org •    Southern Sociological Society: www.southernsociologicalsociety.org •    Southwestern Social Science Association: www.sssaonline.org •    Urban Affairs Association: www.urbanaffairsassociation.org Selected Occupational Fields for Sociology Majors •    Business and management •    Community organizing/advocacy/affairs •    Criminal justice •    Education •    Human services •    Journalism/writing •    Law •    Management consulting •    Marketing and advertising •    Nonprofit management/administration •    Policy research, planning, and development •    Politics •    Program analysis/management •    Public relations p.485 •    Social work •    Sociology •    Youth services Sample Work Settings •    Business/management •    City management •    Community outreach organizations •    Courts/law enforcement agencies •    Departments of human services/children’s services/education/justice/veterans’ affairs •    Elementary, secondary, and higher education •    Federal, state, and local government •    Law firms •    Marketing/market research/sales •    Nonprofits/nongovernmental organizations •    Political campaigns and offices •    Public relations/advertising •    Research institutes •    Social service agencies •    Think tanks •    Universities and colleges sources of Information on Employment Trends and Employment Sectors •    American Enterprise Institute •    American Institutes for Research •    American Sociological Association •    Brookings Institution •    Economic Policy Institute •    Gallup •    National Association of Colleges and Employers •    National Opinion Research Center •    O*NET (U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Network) •    Partnership for Public Service •    RAND Corporation •    Westat •    Urban Institute •    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics •    U.S. Census Bureau •    Your university or college career center Online Job Search Tools •    www.bridgespan.org (nonprofit jobs) •    www.careerbuilder.com (social work jobs) •    www.change.org •    www.geron.org •    www.idealist.org •    www.linkedin.com •    www.nonprofitjobseeker.com •    www.opportunityknocksnow.org •    www.ourpublicservice.org •    www.USAjobs.gov OTHER Resources National Association of Colleges and Employers: www.naceweb.org Occupational Outlook Handbook: www.bls.gov/ooh O*NET OnLine: www.onetonline.org Weigers Vitullo, M. (2009). Searching for a job with an undergraduate degree in sociology. ASA Footnotes, 37(7). Retrieved from http://www.asanet.org/footnotes/septoct09/job_0909.html   p.486   SUMMARY •    Sociologists disagree about whether social change is gradual or abrupt, and about whether all societies are changing in roughly the same direction. The evolutionary, revolutionary, and rise-and-fall theories of social change are three approaches to these questions. •    Some early sociologists viewed collective behavior as a form of group contagion in which the veneer of civilization gave way to more instinctive, herdlike forms of behavior. •    A more sociological approach, emergent norm theory, examines the ways in which crowdsand other forms of collective behavior develop their own rules and shared understandings. •    The most comprehensive theory of collective behavior, value-added theory, attempts to take into account the necessary conditions for collective behavior at the individual, organizational, and even societal levels. •    Social movements have been important historical vehicles for bringing about social change. They are usually achieved through social movement organizations (SMOs), which we study using the tools and understandings of organizational sociology. •    We can classify social movements as reformist, revolutionary, rebellious, reactionary, utopian, or “new,” depending on their vision of social change. •    Resource mobilization theory argues that we can explain the success or failure of SMOs not by the degree of social strain that may explain their origins but by their organizational ability to marshal the financial and personal resources they need. •    In recent years sociologists have sought to explain how social movements align their own beliefs and values with those of their potential constituents in the wider society. Frame alignment activities range from modifying the beliefs of the SMO to attempting to change the beliefs of the entire society. •    Many social movements depend heavily on conscience constituents for their support. Micromobilization contexts are also important incubators of social movements. •    Globalization has created an opportunity for the formation of global social movements, since many of the problems in the world today are global and require global solutions. •    New social movements, organized around issues of personal identity and values, differ from earlier social movements in that they focus on symbols and information as well as material issues, participation is frequently seen as an end in itself, the movements are organized as networks rather than bureaucratically, and they emphasize the interconnectedness of social groups and larger social entities. KEY TERMS differentiation, 463 rise-and-fall theories of social change, 465 collective behavior, 468 crowds, 468 emergent norms, 469 riot, 470 fads, 470 fashions, 471 panic, 471 craze, 471 rumors, 472 social movement, 472 reformist social movements, 473 revolutionary social movements, 476 rebellions, 476 reactionary social movements, 478 utopian social movements, 478 free rider problem, 479 social movement organizations (SMOs), 479 resource mobilization theory, 480 grassroots organizing, 480 conscience constituents, 480 frame alignment, 481 new social movements, 482 p.487 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1.   Consider what you have learned about social movements and social change in this chapter. How is the global expansion of social media likely to change how people pursue social change? How has it done so already? 2.   Under what kinds of societal conditions do movements for social change seem to emerge? Describe a societal context that has brought about or could bring about the development of such a movement. 3.   How do fads differ from fashions? Offer some examples of each, and consider whether and how setting phenomena in these different categories can shed light on their roots and functions. 4.   What are the different types of social movements identified by sociologists? What characteristics are used to differentiate these types? 5.   Design a social movement. What problem or issue would you want to address? How would you overcome the problems of social movements that were identified in this chapter?   Sharpen your skills with SAGE edge at edge.sagepub.com/chambliss2e A personalized approach to help you accomplish your coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment. p.488 18 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND SOCIAL CHANGE © Carl & Ann Purcell/Corbis Media Library CHAPTER 18 Media Library AUDIO    Striking for Better Pay 50 Years Before Ferguson, MO VIDEO    Social Change and Non-Violence Social Movements Violence Against Women Social Movement CQ RESEARCHER    Tea Party Movement ‘Occupy’ Movement JOURNAL    What We can Learn from Occupy Wallstreet Conflict within Social Movements Moral Panic Social Revolutions REFERENCE    Media and Social Movements     p.461   IN THIS CHAPTER Sociological Perspectives on Social Change Sources of Social Change Social Movements Why Study Social Change?     WHAT DO YOU THINK? 1.   What social, political, or economic conditions make revolutionary changes in societies more likely? 2.   Do people behave differently in crowds than they would individually or in small groups? What sociological factors explain crowd behavior? 3.   How has social activism changed in the age of the internet? p.462 A LOW-WAGE REVOLUTION? AP Photo/Paul Sancya   In 2014, across the United States, low-wage workers in the retail and food service sectors participated in strikes intended to draw attention to their economic plight and to push large employers like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Walmart to raise wages. On May 15, 2014, thousands of fast-food workers, organized by the advocacy group Fast Food Forward, participated in labor strikes in U.S. cities from Boston and New York to Miami and Seattle. The 15th day of the month was chosen for the protest to highlight the demonstrators’ demand that the federal minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour from the current $7.25. Similar strikes by fast-food workers took place in other countries as well, including Japan, England, and South Korea. Less than a month later, Walmart workers took to the streets in about 20 U.S. cities to advocate for higher wages. What is behind these strikes? The protests, which have been organized largely by coalitions of unions and workers, are the outcome of a confluence of factors. First, many part-time and full-time workers in these sectors earn wages that put them below or just barely above the poverty line. Consider that, according to Walmart, about half of the company’s full-time hourly workers earn more than $25,000 per year—that leaves the other half of full-time store employees of the country’s biggest private employer taking in under $25,000 annually (Reich, 2014). In fact, recent research by some public policy organizations found that employees at the country’s major low-wage employers, including McDonald’s and Walmart, are among the biggest consumers of public assistance. Rather than pay their employees a living wage, employers like McDonald’s are offering employees information (through such tools as McDonald’s McResource phone line) on applying for housing, health, and food aid from the government (Allegretto et al., 2013). Second, the rise of worker movements may be driven by the growth of the “low-wage economy” in the United States (Reich, 2014). Data show that while about a fifth of the jobs lost in the most recent economic crisis (early 2008 to early 2010) were in low-wage sectors like retail and food service, about 44% of the jobs added in the 4 years following have been in those sectors (National Employment Law Project, 2014). Although jobs in areas like fast food are often associated in the public mind with teenagers earning pocket money, a recent report suggests that more workers in these areas are older workers, many with families: Today, about 68% of fast-food workers are single or married adults who are not in school, and about a quarter are raising children (Berfield, 2013). Striking for Better Pay CLICK TO SHOW p.463 Among the key demands of workers in recent protests has been an increase in the minimum wage. While most workers earn above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the median wage in the fast-food industry is below $9.00, and many employees are offered only part-time hours (Allegretto et al., 2013). Notably, this industry features the most skewed CEO-to-worker pay ratio, which is estimated to be about 1,000:1 (Reich, 2014). Raising the minimum wage is a controversial issue that has drawn a spectrum of political and economic interests into the debate (which we examined in some detail in Chapter 7). Despite the ongoing controversy, some change is taking place, perhaps in response to the workers’ movement. In 2014, the U.S. Congress considered, but failed to pass, a bill that would have raised the federal minimum wage to $10.10. At the same time, by mid-2014, seven states and several cities had raised the minimum wage on their own. In a landmark decision, the city of Seattle, Washington, passed a bill to raise the minimum wage gradually to $15.00 per hour. Media and Social Movements CLICK TO SHOW We begin this chapter with an overview of the foundations of sociological theorizing on social change. We continue with an examination of key sources of social change, focusing in particular on collective behavior and resources from which strikers such as those described above draw. Next we provide an overview of forms that social movements take, and we conclude with some reflections on the nature of social change going forward in a rapidly changing and globalized world. SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SOCIAL CHANGE The concept of social change is all-encompassing. It refers to small-group changes, such as a social club changing a long-standing policy against admitting women or minorities, and to global-level and national-level transformations, such as the outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries and the rise of social movements that seek to address the threat of climate change. When sociologists speak of social change, they are generally referring to changes that occur throughout the social structure of an entire society. Societies are understood sociologically as entities comprising those people who share a common culture and common institutions. Social change may refer to changes within small, relatively isolated communities such as those of the Amish or the small, culturally homogeneous tribes that dot the Amazon basin; changes across complex and modern societies such as the United States, Japan, or Germany; or changes common across similar societies, such as the economically advanced states of the West or the Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East. Three key types of social change theories in sociology are functionalist theories, conflict theories, and cyclical theories. Sociological perspectives on social change begin with particular assumptions about both the social world and basic processes of change. Below we briefly consider each theoretical perspective and discuss its utility for helping us understand the nature of social change in the world today. THE FUNCTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE Functionalist theories of social change assume that as societies develop, they become more complex and interdependent. Herbert Spencer (1892) argued that what distinguishes modern societies is differentiation—that is, the development of increasing societal complexity through the creation of specialized social roles and institutions. Spencer was referring to what Émile Durkheim conceptualized as the division of labor, which is characterized by the sorting of people into interdependent occupational and task categories (and, by extension, class categories). Think of medieval England, when craftsmen working at home made tools and shoes that they exchanged for food or clothing, using a broad range of skills to act relatively independently of one another. Compare this to modern society, where factory workers each produce parts of an automobile, managers sell completed cars to dealerships, and salespeople sell them to customers. Today people master a narrow range of tasks within a large number of highly specialized (differentiated) institutional roles and thus are highly interdependent. (Note the similarity here to Durkheim’s notion that societies evolve over time from mechanical to organic solidarity—the former being characteristic of traditional, homogeneous societies and the latter characteristic of diverse, modern societies.) p.464 GettyImages_72882874 By today’s standards, Quakers were a highly homogenous society, where consensus of opinion allowed for a type of religiously rooted social organization and structure that would likely not be possible in modern societies. The earliest functionalist theories of social change were evolutionary theories, which assumed that all societies begin as “simple” or “primitive” and eventually develop into more “complicated” and “civilized” forms along a single, unidirectional evolutionary path (Morgan, 1877/1964). During the 20th century, however, this notion of unilinear development became increasingly shaky, as anthropologists came to believe that societies evolve in many different ways. More recent evolutionary theories (sometimes termed multilinear) argue that multiple paths to social change exist, depending on the particular circumstances of the society (Moore, 2004; Sahlins & Service, 1960). Technology, environment, population size, and social organization are among the factors that play roles in determining the path a society takes. Some evolutionary theorists viewed societies as eventually reaching an equilibrium state in which no further change would occur unless an external force set it in motion. For example, Durkheim believed that “primitive,” or less developed, societies were largely unchanging unless population growth resulted in such a differentiation of social relationships that organic solidarity replaced mechanical solidarity. Talcott Parsons (1951) viewed societies as equilibrium systems that constantly seek to maintain balance, or the status quo, unless something external disrupts equilibrium, such as changes in technology or economic relationships with other societies. Parsons later came to argue, however, that societies do change by becoming more complicated systems that are better adapted to their external environments (Parsons & Shils, 2001). Although no one can deny that modern societies contain many more specialized roles and institutions than earlier ones, evolutionary theories also assume that social changes are progressive and that “modern” (European) societies are more evolved than earlier “primitive” ones. Such beliefs appealed to countries whose soldiers, missionaries, and merchants were conquering or colonizing much of the rest of the world, since they helped justify those imperialist actions as part of the “civilizing” mission of a more advanced people. Anthropologists and sociologists eventually rejected these ideas (Nolan & Lenski, 2009). On a more micro level, consider de-differentiation in the mainstream marital relationship. Traditionally, the man was the “head of the household” and often ruled his wife and children with an iron fist. Both the norm and the reality of marriage today are characterized by a de-differentiation of roles in which men take on domestic responsibilities and, increasingly, the wife is a major income producer for the family. Since different parts of society undergo the processes of differentiation and de-differentiation to varying degrees and at different times, considerable conflict may arise between them (Alexander, 1998; Alexander & Colomy, 1990; Colomy, 1986, 1990). It is, however, the conflict perspective that assumes conflict as the foundation for social change. We look at that perspective below. THE CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE Conflict theories suggest that conflict is the product of divergent and perhaps irreconcilable social group interests and contradictory goals of social relationships. Even if a population or technology is in a state of stasis rather than change, conflict theorists see social change as inevitable, as people create ways of dealing with the conflicts and contradictions inherent in social life. Responding to the conflicts and contradictions can potentially bring a society to the brink of sharp and sometimes violent breaks with the past. Unlike their functionalist peers in sociology, conflict theorists do not see social stability as the ultimate goal of social organization. They recognize conflict as a vital, transformative part of social life. Karl Marx focused his research on the contradictions and conflicts built into capitalist societies, where the world is divided between owners of the means of production and workers, who own only their own labor power and must sell it under conditions not of their own making. In Marx’s view, the revolutionary transformation of a society into a new type—from feudalism to capitalism, or from capitalism to socialism, for example—would occur when the consciousness of the people or the concentration of power in one social class was sufficient to create a social movement able to transform the political and economic institutions into new sets of social relationships. As we have seen throughout this text, Marx’s conflict theory adhered to its own evolutionary view of social change, in which all societies would advance to the same final destination: a classless, stateless society. We have earlier noted a number of weaknesses in this theory. Of particular importance is Marx’s tendency to overemphasize economic conflict while underestimating cultural conflict and other noneconomic factors, such as gender, ethnicity, race, and nationalism, which have become increasingly important in the world today. What We can Learn from Occupy Wallstreet CLICK TO SHOW p.465 Later conflict theorists have also addressed key questions about processes of social change, such as how groups come to want and pursue social change. Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1971), for instance, highlighted the importance of ideas in maintaining order and oppression in society. He observed that the ruling class is often able to create ideological hegemony, a generally accepted view of what is of value and how people should relate to their economic and social status in society. Ideological hegemony may lead people to consent to their own domination by, for instance, socializing them to believe that the existing hierarchy of power is the best or only way to organize society. Consider as well that in the past women were socialized by agents such as schools, families, and religious institutions to believe they should not have jobs outside the home or vote. The idea that women should not hold positions outside the home could be considered a hegemonic idea of this period. Gramsci also spoke of organic intellectuals—those who emerge from oppressed groups to create counterhegemonies that challenge dominant (and dominating) ideas. In the mid-19th century, women’s suffrage activists including Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were organic intellectuals, challenging powerful beliefs that women should be excluded from politics. Over time and through the efforts of activists, the counterhegemonic idea that women should have a voice in politics became, in fact, the hegemonic, or dominant, belief in Western society. In the 1950s, in response to the dominant functionalist paradigm, sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf published an influential article titled “Out of Utopia” (1958). Dahrendorf argued that functionalist theory, with its emphasis on how social institutions exist to maintain the status quo, overlooks critically important characteristics of society that lead to social conflict, such as the role of power, social change, and the unequal distribution of resources. The distribution of authority in society, said Dahrendorf, is a means of determining the probability of conflict. Where hierarchical structures such as states, private economic entities such as manufacturing firms, and even religious organizations are all dominated by the same elite, the potential for conflict is higher than in societies where authority is more dispersed. Put another way, if Group A dominates all or most key hierarchical authority structures and Group B is nearly always subordinate, conflict will be likely because Group B has little stake in the existing social order. However, if Group B has authority in some hierarchical structures and Group A has authority in others, neither group has great incentive to challenge the status quo. © H.M. HERGET/National Geographic Creative Global military and political dominance, sophisticated technology, specialization and division of labor, political institutions, and the social class structure are all strikingly similar between the United States and the fallen Roman Empire. Is there a cautionary tale here about a possible future of the United States? Marx emphasized control of the means of production as a source of power and conflict; Gramsci highlighted control of dominant ideas in society as an important source of power and change; and Dahrendorf put authority and its concentration or distribution at the center of his work. Conflict theorists differ in their beliefs about what sources are most likely to underlie social conflict and social change, but all agree that social conflict and social change are both inevitable and desirable components of society and progress. RISE-AND-FALL THEORIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE Rise-and-fall theories of social change deny that there is any particular forward direction to social change; rather, they argue that change reflects a cycle of growth and decline. Rise-and-fall or cyclical theories are common in the religious myths of many cultures, which view social life as a reflection of the life cycle of living creatures, or the seasons of the year, with the end representing some form of return to the beginning. Sociology, emerging in an era that equated scientific and technological advancement with progress, at first tended to reject such cyclical metaphors in favor of more evolutionary or revolutionary ones that emphasized the forward motion of progress. Conflict within Social Movements CLICK TO SHOW p.466 INEQUALITY MATTERS SPORTS AND SOCIAL CHANGE Photo Researchers, Inc. Baseball player Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play in on a Major League Baseball team. He was recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers and played for the team for the first time in 1947. In 1997, his uniform number, 42, was retired across major league baseball. For many of us, sports play an important role in our lives: From watching the Olympics to rooting for our college teams to playing weekend games with friends, we take pleasure in the competition, the action, and the company. At some pivotal points in U.S. history, sports have also played an important role in driving social change. Consider the 1972 passage of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Title IX is credited with, among other things, opening up unprecedented opportunities for girls and young women to participate in organized sports, because it requires every school receiving federal funding to offer team sports to both male and female athletes and prohibits the denial of equal participation opportunities for women in organized sports. In the year prior to the implementation of Title IX, just a little more than 300,000 girls and women were playing high school and college sports across the United States. By 2012, the figure was well over 3 million (“Before and After Title IX,” 2012). Before Title IX, however, a young athlete with big dreams was an important driver of social change in racial integration in the United States. Some sports sociologists suggest that Jackie Robinson, the first African American player to integrate Major League Baseball, drove the first significant change in Black and White relations in the 20th century. In the words of sociologist Richard Zamoff, “A year before President [Harry] Truman’s executive order desegregating the military, seven years before Brown v. Board of Education, and more than ten years before most people in America had ever heard about Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King, Jr.” (personal communication, 2014), Jackie Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers team initiated a sometimes fraught but entirely necessary dialogue in U.S. society about race relations and integration. In the words of Gerald Early (2011), we can divide Black–White relations in the 20th century into two periods: “before Robinson and after Robinson.” Before Robinson’s integration of the minor leagues in 1946 and then the Major League in 1947, professional baseball had been segregated for more than half a century. Robinson’s debut with the Dodgers was not welcomed in all quarters, and he suffered threats and abuse from fans, the press, and even other players. Notably, Robinson had agreed to the condition imposed by Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey that he not fight back in response to the racist taunts. By the end of the season, Robinson had not only endured the intense challenges of integrating the league but had also won the admiration of scores of fans with his grace under fire and his athletic achievements, which included helping to lead his team to the National League pennant and an appearance in the World Series in his first year with the Dodgers. p.467 Jackie Robinson has been widely recognized for both his individual accomplishments and the contributions he made to the game of baseball and a society still struggling with racism in the middle of the 20th century. Interestingly, 25 years after his initial integration of baseball, he nearly refused to participate in a commemorative event because of his disappointment in the fact that Major League Baseball had yet to appoint a Black team manager. The first Black manager of a Major League Baseball team was hired by the Cleveland Indians in 1975, 3 years after Robinson’s death. Sports has been a driver of social change in the United States and across the globe. The progress it has wrought is, as Robinson saw, incomplete and imperfect but nonetheless of great significance. THINK IT THROUGH What makes sports a potential vehicle for social change rather than “just a game”? Can you think of other instances in which sports or particular athletes have had a powerful social impact?     There have been a number of significant exceptions, however, among historically oriented social theorists. Pitirim Sorokin (1957/1970, 1962), a historical sociologist of the mid-20th century, argued that societies alternate among three different kinds of mentalities: those that give primacy to the senses, those that emphasize religiosity, and those that celebrate logic and reason. Societies that value hedonism and the satisfaction of immediate pleasures more highly than the achievement of long-term goals give primacy to the senses; religiosity occurs in societies that value following the tenets of a religion over enjoying the senses or solving problems through logic and reason. We tend to think of modern societies as defined largely by the emphasis on logic and reason. Societies everywhere have contained a mixture of religiosity, an emphasis on the senses, and the celebration of logic and reason. Sorokin’s “ideal types” may nonetheless be useful for describing the relative emphasis of each of these modes of adaptation in different societies. For example, we might say that the modern Western world puts greater emphasis on logic and reason than on religion or giving primacy to the senses; it would be a mistake, however, to say that there is no emphasis on the senses or religion, because these traits too play important roles in shaping the modern Western world. In The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), historian Paul Kennedy traces the conditions associated with national power and decline during the past five centuries. As nations grow in economic power, he argues, they often seek to become world military powers as well, a goal that in the long run proves to be their undoing. Wielding global military power eventually weakens a nation’s domestic economy, undermining the prosperity that once fueled it. Kennedy forecasts that this might well be the fate of the United States. More recently, writer Cullen Murphy (2007) has pointed to parallels between the Roman Empire and the United States, noting that Rome too was characterized by an overburdened and costly military, a deep sense of exceptionalism, and a tendency to denigrate and misunderstand other cultures. He notes as well the Roman pattern of shifting the onus for providing services to citizens away from the public sector to the private sector, seeing this as a form of enrichment for the few but a disadvantage for the many. A key point in rise-and-fall narratives is that social change can be both progressive and regressive—power does not invariably beget more power; it may also beget decline. The most renowned sociologist considered by some to be a cyclical theorist is Max Weber. Although he took an evolutionary view of society as increasingly moving toward a politically and economically legal-rational society governed by rules and regulations, Weber (1919/1946) also emphasized the role of irrational elements in shaping human behavior. For example, while he wrote about the growing formal rationality of the modern world, he also recognized the possibility that a society’s path could be altered by the appearance of a charismatic figure whose singular personal authority transcended institutionalized authority structures. Leaders who drastically changed a nation’s trajectory include Haile Selassie, who governed Ethiopia for half a century, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Mao Zedong in China, and Fidel Castro in Cuba. In the United States, Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement in the 1960s and fundamentally changed race relations. p.468 AFP / Stringer/Getty Images Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a transformational dream. His words and deeds inspired and continue to inspire social change. The actions of a single person can be truly significant. Cyclical theories have not enjoyed great popularity among sociologists. Even Weber’s theory is not truly cyclical; his idea of charismatic authority is a sort of wild card, providing an unpredictable twist in an otherwise predictable march of social change from one form of authority to another. The more far-reaching versions of cyclical theory, such as Sorokin’s theory that society swings among three different worldviews, are framed in such broad terms that it is challenging to prove them right or wrong. SOURCES OF SOCIAL CHANGE Social change ultimately results from human action. Sociologists studying how change occurs often analyze the mass action of large numbers of people and the institutionalized behaviors of organizations. In this section we examine social change within the context of mass action by groups of people, focusing on theories of collective behavior and the role played by social movements. COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR Collective behavior is voluntary, goal-oriented action that occurs in relatively disorganized situations in which society’s predominant social norms and values cease to govern individual behavior (Oberschall, 1973; Turner & Killian, 1987). Although collective behavior is usually associated with disorganized aggregates of people, it may also occur in highly regimented social contexts when order and discipline break down. Beginning with the writings of the 19th-century French sociologist Gustave Le Bon (1896/1960), the sociological study of collective behavior has been particularly concerned with the behavior of people in crowds—that is, temporary gatherings of closely interacting people with a common focus. People in crowds were traditionally seen as prone to being swept up in group emotions, losing their ability to make rational decisions as individuals. The “group mind” of the crowd has long been viewed as an irrational and dangerous aspect of modern societies, with crowds believed to consist of rootless, isolated individuals prone to herdlike behavior (Arendt, 1951; Fromm, 1941; Gaskell & Smith, 1981; Kornhauser, 1959). More recently, however, it has become clear that there can be a fair degree of social organization in crowds. For example, the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011–2012 and the Arab Spring revolutions, which began in late 2010, although representing spontaneous beginnings, quickly developed a degree of predictability and organization, and in turn became social movements. It is important to note that crowds alone do not constitute social movements, but they are a critical ingredient in most cases. We must rethink the very notion of “spontaneity” in a global context, given that the use of social media has been a precipitating factor in collective behaviors ranging from flash mobs to street protests to revolutions. Sociologists seek to explain the conditions that may lead a group of people to engage in collective behavior, whether violent or peaceful. Below we examine three principal sociological approaches: contagion theories, which emphasize nonsocial factors such as instincts; emergent norm theories, which seek out some kind of underlying social organization that leads a group to generate norms governing collective action; and value-added theories, which combine elements of personal, organizational, and social conditions in order to explain collective behavior. CONTAGION THEORIES  Contagion theories assume that human beings can revert to herdlike behavior when they come together in large crowds. Herbert Blumer (1951), drawing on symbolic interactionism, emphasized the role of raw imitation, which leads people in crowds to “mill about” much like a group of animals, stimulating and goading one another into movement actions, whether peaceful or violent. Individual acts, therefore, become contagious; they are unconsciously copied until they eventually explode into collective action. A skilled leader can effectively manipulate such behavior, “working the crowd” until it reaches a fever pitch. Moral Panic CLICK TO SHOW p.469 © Amy Sussman/Corbis On September 17, 2011, protesters filled the streets around Wall Street in New York City. Many carried signs protesting growing economic inequality in the United States. Occupy Wall Street demonstrators also spoke out for greater environmental protection, union power, campaign finance reform, an end to the war in Iraq, and myriad other social issues. The OWS movement has declined, but the issues it raised continue to spark activism like that described in the opening story. Sociologists have used the contagion theory perspective to study the panic flights of crowds, “epidemics” of bizarre collective behaviors such as uncontrollable dancing or fainting, and reports of satanic child abuse. In 1983, a local “panic” erupted in a small California city after a parent of a preschool child accused teachers at her child’s school of raping and sodomizing dozens of students. The trial in the case stretched on for years, but no wrongdoing was ever proven and no defendant convicted. Accusations in the case, which drew on allegations from children and parents, included stories about teachers chopping up animals at the school, clubbing to death a horse, and sacrificing a baby. Public accounts of the trial unleashed a national panic about abuse and satanism in child-care facilities, though there was no serious documentation of such activities (Haberman, 2014). Some sociologists believe that a few well-publicized cases of deviant behavior—including wild accusations like those described above—can trigger imitative behavior until a virtual “epidemic” emerges that then feeds on itself (Goode, 2009). How does the contagion actually spread? What are the mechanisms that affect whether people imitate one another’s behavior in the interest of grabbing attention or promoting social change? In the case of the Occupy Wall Street movement, we might conclude that as increasing numbers of people realized there was an avenue they could use to protest the political and economic conditions in the United States, they began establishing Occupy camps all over the country. The decline of the movement over time was more gradual. The movement to bring a living wage to the fast-food sector has, arguably, taken on momentum in a similar fashion. While copycat behavior may build momentum rapidly, an explanation limited to this factor is unlikely to account fully for collective behavior. Furthermore, such explanations are sometimes used to discredit particular instances of collective behavior as resulting from an irrational (and therefore dangerous) tendency of people to jump on the bandwagon. Critics of the Occupy movement often depicted participants as little more than copycats engaging in occupying city space, rather than as members of a movement with serious concerns about the state of contemporary society. In the 1960s, some people dismissed antiwar and civil rights protesters as misled “flower children” rather than recognizing them as people concerned about injustice and war. Sociologists, however, seek ways to determine why collective behavior occurs and to understand the rational and organizational basis for its emergence (Chafetz & Dworkin, 1983; Wright, 1993). We look next at what some other theories suggest. EMERGENT NORM THEORIES  Most sociologists prefer to look for norms and values that shape conscious human behavior rather than rely on the idea that instincts govern unconscious processes. Some have suggested that emergent norms offer an explanation for collective behavior. We can define emergent norms as norms that are situationally created to support a collective action. For example, Ralph H. Turner and Lewis M. Killian (1987) argue that even when crowd behavior appears chaotic and disorganized, norms emerge that explain the crowd’s actions. Crowd members take stock of what is going on around them, are mindful of their personal motivations, and, in general, collectively define the situation in which they find themselves. In this respect, crowd behavior is not very different from ordinary behavior; there is no need to fall back on “instincts” or “contagion” to explain it. The Tea Party political movement in the United States (which we discussed briefly in Chapter 13) began as a collective protest against “big government.” It soon developed a package of emergent norms that morphed into a political movement emphasizing the importance of getting like-minded politicians elected to office, as well as norms that emphasized the importance of adherence to the central ideas of the U.S. Constitution, lower taxes, more limited government, and reduced government spending. The emergent norm approach offers only a partial explanation of collective behavior. First, all crowds do not develop norms that govern their actions; crowds often emerge out of shared sets of norms among the participants. Second, purely spontaneous emotional outbursts may also occur as people act on their immediate impulses. Furthermore, when norms governing crowd behavior do emerge, they are unlikely by themselves to account fully for collective behavior. When an amateurish video appeared on the Internet in the fall of 2012 depicting the Prophet Muhammad in an unfavorable and even absurd light, crowds spontaneously gathered in some Middle Eastern countries to protest against the United States, where the video was made. These crowds were responding to religious leaders who informed their members of the existence of the video and encouraged protests. Emergent norms played little part in these actions; the norms (and grievances) being expressed had long historical standing in the communities where the protests took place. Social Change and Non-Violence CLICK TO SHOW Tea Party Movement CLICK TO SHOW p.470 VALUE-ADDED THEORY  Both contagion and emergent norm theories focus primarily on the micro level of individual action and thought, largely ignoring macro-level factors—poverty, unemployment, governmental abuses of authority, and so on—that may explain the emergence of collective behavior. More than 50 years ago, Neil Smelser (1962) sought to develop what he termed a “value-added” approach to understanding collective behavior. He identified a number of both micro- and macro-level factors that each contribute something of value to the outcome and that form a foundation for collective behavior. Think about a revolution or social movement discussed in this chapter or that you have learned about elsewhere—can you identify the factors below in that context? 1.   Structural conduciveness exists when the existing social structure favors the emergence of collective behavior. 2.   Structural strain occurs when the social system breaks down. 3.   Generalized beliefs are shared explanations of the conditions that are troubling people. People must define the problem, identify its causes, and—to use C. Wright Mills’s phrase—come to see their personal problems as public issues. 4.   Precipitating factors are dramatic events that confirm the generalized beliefs of the group, thereby triggering action. 5.   Mobilization for action occurs when leaders arise who encourage action. 6.   The failure of social control leaves those charged with maintaining law and order unable to do so in the face of mounting pressures for collective action. Smelser’s approach has been used to analyze collective behavior in a variety of settings, including self-help groups (Smith & Pillemer, 1983), social welfare organizations (Smith & Moses, 1980), and nuclear-weapons-freeze activism (Tygart, 1987). The theory’s strength is that it combines societal-, organizational-, and individual-level factors into one comprehensive theory. Yet it has also been criticized for emphasizing the part that people’s reactions play in collective behavior more than the fact that people themselves are conscious agents creating the conditions required for social change. HOW DO CROWDS ACT? We have all participated in some form of collective behavior in our social lives. Collective behavior comes in a spectrum of different forms, including riots, fads, fashions, panics, crazes, and rumors. We discuss each of these forms of collective behavior in turn below. © Lee Jin-man/ /AP/Corb The mass demonstrations against police brutality that took place in late 2014 were precipitated by a series of deaths of unarmed Black men at the hands of police and decisions of several grand juries not to indict officers involved in the deaths. In this photo, students at American University in Washington, DC, participate in a protest action. RIOTS  A riot is an illegal, prolonged outbreak of violent behavior by a large group of people directed against individuals or property. Riots represent a form of crowd behavior; often they are spontaneous, although sometimes they are motivated by a conscious set of concerns. Prison and urban riots are common examples. During a riot, conventional norms, including respect for the private property of others, are suspended and replaced with other norms developed within the group. For example, inmates may destroy property to force prison officials to adopt more humane practices, and the theft of property during an urban riot may reflect the participants’ desire for a more equitable distribution of resources. The very use of the term riot to characterize a particular action is often highly political. In 1773, a crowd of Bostonians protesting British taxation of the American colonies seized a shipment of tea from a British vessel and dumped it into Boston Harbor. While the British Crown roundly condemned this action as the illegal act of a rioting mob, U.S. history books celebrate the “Boston Tea Party” as the noble act of inspired patriots and an opening salvo in the Revolutionary War. ‘Occupy’ Movement CLICK TO SHOW p.471 © The Granger Collection, NYC—All rights reserved A historically notable panic actually happened unintentionally. A 1938 Halloween radio broadcast narrated H. G. Wells’s science fiction novel. Many listeners did not realize that the radio was broadcasting a work of fiction, causing them to panic. FADS AND FASHIONS  The desire to join others in being different (itself perhaps something of an irony) continually feeds the rise of new looks and sounds. Fads, or temporary, highly imitated outbreaks of mildly unconventional behavior, are particularly common responses to popular entertainment such as music, movies, and books and require social networks (electronic or otherwise) in order to spread (Iribarren & Moro, 2007). The fads of piercing body parts to wear ornaments and extensive body tattooing have captured several generations and seem to be continuing today. Other fads have included wearing blue jeans with holes in the knees, staging “panty raids” on sorority houses, and adopting the “hipster” style popularized by young people united by a common interest in alternative music and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. As fads become popular, they sometimes cease being fads and instead become fashions, that is, somewhat long-lasting styles of imitative behavior or appearance. Georg Simmel (1904/1971) first examined the sociological implications of fashions more than a century ago. He pointed out that fashions reflect a tension between people’s desire to be different and their desire to conform. By adopting a fashion, a person initially appears to stand out from the group, yet the fashion itself reflects group norms. As the fashion catches on, more and more people adopt it, and it eventually ceases to express any degree of individuality. Its very success undermines its attractiveness, so the eventual fate of all fashions is to become unfashionable. Simmel’s observations offer another insight into fashions: Unlike fads, they often grow out of the continuous and well-organized efforts of those who work in design, manufacturing technology, marketing, and media to define what is in style. As “grunge” music became popular, it spawned a profitable clothing industry, and highly paid fashion designers created clothing that was grungy in everything but price. Today there are several fashion trends that resonate with different audiences and subcultures. Whether it is the hipster look of skinny jeans, oversized glasses, and ironic sweatshirts or the EDM (electronic dance music) scene of neon colors, high-waist shorts, and playful accessories, manufacturers will spend millions of dollars attempting to convince youthful consumers that they must buy particular products in order to be fashionable and popular. PANICS AND CRAZES  A panic is a massive flight from something feared. The most celebrated example was created by an infamous radio broadcast on the night before Halloween in 1938: Orson Welles’s Mercury Theatre rendition of H. G. Wells’s science fiction novel War of the Worlds. The broadcast managed to convince thousands that Martians had landed in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, and were wreaking havoc with deadly laser beams. People panicked, flooded the telephone lines with calls, and fled to “safer” ground. Panics are often ignited by the belief that something is awry in the corporate world or in consumer technology. As the year 2000 approached, panic over the Y2K problem, also known as the “millennium bug,” gripped many people who believed reports that computer systems worldwide would crash when the year 2000 began (supposedly computers would be unable to distinguish the year 2000 from 1900, because they used only two digits to designate the year). A recent example of a panic involved the Mayan calendar, which was projected to “end” during our calendar equivalent of December 2012. The fact that the structure of the Mayan calendar and the Mayan system of counting and noting dates did not pass December 2012 led many to believe that the Mayans had predicted the end of the world. Some panics, like that around Y2K, reflect the fear that, in modern industrial society, we are highly dependent on products and technological processes about which we have little knowledge and over which we have no control. A craze is an intense attraction to an object, a person, or an activity. Crazes are like fads but more intense. Body disfigurement has been a periodic craze, ranging from nose piercing to putting rings through nipples, belly buttons, lips, and tongues. The fact that these practices instill horror in some people probably accounts in part for the attraction they hold for others. In many cultures, body disfigurement is considered a necessary condition of beauty or attractiveness. While such practices would be regarded as crazes in the West, they are normal enhancements of beauty in other cultures (Brown, Edwards, & Moore, 1988). 50 Years Before Ferguson, MO CLICK TO SHOW p.472 Rumors are unverified forms of information that are transmitted informally, usually originating in unknown sources. The classic study on rumors was conducted more than 65 years ago by Gordon W. Allport and Leo Postman (1947). In one version of this research, a White student was asked to study a photograph depicting an urban scene: two men on a subway car, one menacing the other. The student was then asked to describe the picture to a second White student, who in turn was asked to pass the information along to a third, and so on. Eventually, after numerous retellings, the information changed completely to reflect the students’ previously held beliefs. For example, as the “rumor” in the study took shape, the person engaging in the menacing act was described as Black and the victim as White—even though in the actual photograph the reverse was true. Allport and Postman’s research revealed a number of features unique to rumors. The information they contain is continually reorganized according to the belief systems of those who are passing them along. Some information is forgotten, and some is altered to fit into more familiar frameworks, such as racist preconceptions in the example above. Furthermore, the degree of alteration varies according to the nature of the rumor; it is greatest for rumors that trigger strong emotions or that pass through large numbers of people. For a rumor to have an effect, it must tap into collectively held beliefs, fears, or hopes. For some the rumor that the world will be ending imminently is a hopeful message; for others it is a source of great fear. Rumors often reinforce subcultural beliefs. The rumor that the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency are planting listening devices in everyone’s homes feeds into the belief that the government is out to control us. Political campaigns are infamous for starting and perpetuating rumors: For example, the rumors that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen, is a Muslim, and is trying to create European-style socialism in the United States have been spread by political opponents. Despite the fact that an abundance of evidence contradicts these rumors, some groups have embraced them. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Theories of collective behavior generally emphasize the passive, reactive side of human behavior. Social movement theory, in contrast, regards human beings as the active makers of their own history—agents who have visions and goals, analyze existing conditions, weigh alternative courses of action, and organize themselves as best they can to achieve success. A social movement is a large number of people who come together in a continuing and organized effort to bring about (or resist) social change, and who rely at least partially on noninstitutionalized forms of political action. Social movements thus have one foot outside the political establishment, and this is what distinguishes them from other efforts aimed at bringing about social change. Their political activities are not limited to such routine efforts as lobbying or campaigning; they include noninstitutionalized political actions such as boycotts, marches and other demonstrations, and civil disobedience. Social movements often include some degree of formal organization oriented toward achieving longer-term goals, along with supporting sets of beliefs and opinions, but their strength often derives from their ability to disrupt the status quo by means of spontaneous, relatively unorganized political actions. As part of its support for the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) advocated the disruption of normal business activities, such as boycotting buses and restaurants, in order to force integration. The people who participate in social movements typically are outside the existing set of power relationships in society; such movements provide one of the few forms of political voice available to the relatively powerless (McAdam, McCarthy, & Zald, 1988; Tarrow, 1994). A recent example is the Dreamer movement, which supports passage of the Dream Act. This immigration reform legislation would allow undocumented young people who migrated to the United States with their families when they were children to have access to higher education and, over time, permanent residency or citizenship. An executive order signed by President Obama in 2012 allows the Dreamers to apply for deferred action permits and avoid deportation under certain conditions. The Dreamer movement is active at the time of this writing. The body of research on social movements in the United States is partially the result of movements that began in the late 1950s and gained attention and support in the 1960s and early 1970s. Theories of collective behavior, with their emphasis on the seemingly irrational actions of unorganized crowds, were ill equipped to explain the rise of well-organized efforts by hundreds of thousands of people to change government policies toward the Vietnam War and civil rights for African Americans. As these two social movements spawned others, including the second-wave feminist movement, which saw women demanding greater rights and opportunities in the workplace, sociologists had to rethink their basic assumptions and develop new theoretical perspectives. Below we examine different types of social movements, looking especially at sociological theories about why they arise. TYPES OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS © Parker Haeg/Demotix/Corb Political activism swept the country in the 1960s and 1970s with widespread demonstrations focused on civil rights, women’s rights, and the Vietnam War. The dramatic protests and social transformations of this period helped fuel the reformulation of theories on social change. Social movements are typically classified according to the direction and degree of change they seek. For purposes of our discussion, we will distinguish five different kinds: reformist, revolutionary, rebellious, reactionary, and utopian (Table 18.1). In fact, these distinctions are not clear-cut, and the categories are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they represent ideal types. In the final section of the chapter, we will also consider some examples of a new sixth category: social movements that aim to change values and beliefs. Social Movements CLICK TO SHOW p.473 REFORMIST MOVEMENTS  Reformist social movements seek to bring about social change within the existing economic and political system and usually address institutions such as the courts and lawmaking bodies and/or public officials. They are most often found in societies where democratic institutions make it possible to achieve social change within the established political processes. Yet even reformist social movements can include factions that advocate more sweeping, revolutionary social changes. Sometimes the government fails to respond, or it responds very slowly, raising frustrations. At other times, the government may actively repress a movement, arresting its leaders, breaking up its demonstrations, and even outlawing its activities. © ISHARA S.KODIKARA / Stringer/Getty Images The Dreamer movement consists of people who support immigration reform, including access to opportunities and a legitimate route to residency or citizenship for young people brought to the United States by undocumented parents. Many have been barred from educational institutions or job opportunities due to their immigration status. The American Woman Suffrage Association, formed in 1869 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was a reformist organization that resulted in significant social changes. During the latter part of the 19th century, it became one of the most powerful political forces in the United States, seeking to liberate women from oppression and ensure them the right to vote (Vellacott, 1993), precipitating the first wave of the women’s movement. In 1872, Victoria Woodhull helped to organize the Equal Rights Party, which nominated her for the U.S. presidency (even though, by law, no woman could vote for her); she campaigned on the issues of voting rights for women, the right of women to earn and control their own money, and free love (Underhill, 1995). After a half century of struggle by numerous social movement activists, women finally won the right to vote with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The civil rights movement of the late 1950s and the 1960s called for social changes that would enforce the constitutionally mandated civil rights of African Americans; it often included nonviolent civil disobedience directed at breaking unjust laws. The ultimate aim of the civil rights movement was to change those laws, rather than to change society as a whole. Thus, for example, when Rosa Parks violated the laws of Montgomery, Alabama, by refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a White person, she was challenging the city ordinance, but not the government itself. p.474 TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY #SOCIALCHANGE © Parker Haeg/Demotix/Corbis A preeminent form of social activism today is what has been termed “hashtag activism” (Dewey, 2014), essentially the movement to spread awareness online regarding social issues embraced and defined as important by well-known public figures and ordinary people alike. Hashtag activism is conducted on Twitter, an Internet platform actively used by 255 million account holders across the world and passively followed by millions more (Twitter, 2014). According to a study conducted for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, in 2013, 18% of online adults had Twitter accounts (a 2% increase from the year before) (Duggan & Smith, 2014). Twitter is not the only online platform used for social activism, but it has played a part in a number of broad public campaigns, such as the effort to capture alleged war criminal Joseph Kony, wanted for crimes of mass murder and rape in Uganda (#Kony2012), and the effort to draw attention to injustice in the killing of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of the man who shot him, George Zimmerman (#JusticeforTrayvon). In the spring of 2014, a major campaign of hashtag activism was undertaken in response to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from a provincial Nigerian boarding school. Outrage over the girls’ abduction by a self-proclaimed radical Islamic group called Boko Haram (which means “Western education is a sin” in the local Hausa language) spread quickly in April and May of that year from domestic Nigerian activists and the young women’s aggrieved parents to become a global movement functioning primarily online through #BringBackOurGirls. Among the political and cultural luminaries tweeting their support of the kidnapped girls and demanding their safe return were First Lady Michelle Obama, British prime minister David Cameron, media personalities Ellen DeGeneres and Piers Morgan, young Pakistani activist for women’s and girls’ rights Malala Yousafzai, and even celebrities like Chris Rock and Amy Poehler. By the beginning of May, #BringBackOurGirls had accrued well over 2 million tweets (McGann, 2014). Online appeals also spurred public protests outside Nigeria, including demonstrations in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., calling for the safe return of the kidnapped girls. Hashtag activism is, arguably, a potentially powerful technological instrument of social activism. First, it is a means for raising awareness of issues that might otherwise go unnoticed in our information-saturated modern world, particularly if well-known figures involve themselves in campaigns (as was the case in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign). Supporters of social media activism point out that heightened public awareness can put pressure on officials who are in a position to make or change policies or foster action on actionable issues (Seay, 2014). Second, hashtag activism has the potential to draw together concerned individuals and groups across the globe who might not otherwise have a means for uniting around a common cause. p.475 Such activism is not without its critics, however. It has been termed “slacktivism” and “armchair activism.” According to a Washington Post article on this modern phenomenon, “Users are urged to ‘like’ posts and pages on Facebook, share Twitter and blog posts with everyone they know, and to create videos or take a picture for Instagram relating to their cause” (Seay, 2014). “Slacktivism” has been the subject of recent social scientific research in which it was defined as the “willingness to perform a relatively costless, token display of support for a social cause, with an accompanying lack of willingness to devote significant effort to meaningful change” (Kristofferson, White, & Peloza, 2014, p. 1149). The researchers examined the question of whether “slacktivism” is likely to translate into more substantial (more costly or time-consuming or long-term) engagement with a cause. Interestingly, they found that those whose initial “activism” was private rather than public (for instance, writing a letter to a member of Congress versus “liking” or posting on Facebook) were more likely to engage deeply in the cause of interest. Public proclamations of interest were less likely to translate into meaningful engagement. Online social activism is likely to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, and we are likely to see hashtag and similar campaigns that seek our attention to a range of social, political, economic, and environmental issues. Sociological engagement with this phenomenon is still in its infancy. What would you like to know about it? How would you go about researching online social activism? THINK IT THROUGH What are the strengths of online activism? What are its weaknesses? In what cases might it be more or less effective in fostering social change?     TABLE 18.1   Principal Types of Social Movements p.476 © David Turnley/Corbis Revolutionary social movements are not always violent. In Czechoslovakia (now the two countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia), the Communist regime led by General Secretary Miloš Jakeš ceded power in 1989 and allowed for a peaceful democratic transition to take place. Much early civil rights activism was oriented toward registering southern Blacks to vote, so that by exercising their legal franchise, they could achieve a measure of political power. Within the civil rights movement, however, there were activists who concluded that the rights of Black Americans would never be achieved through reformist activities alone. Like many social movements, the civil rights movement was marked by internal struggles and debates regarding the degree to which purely reformist activities were adequate to the movement’s objectives (Branch, 1988). The Black Panther Party, for example, argued for far more radical changes in U.S. society, advocating “Black power” instead of merely fighting for an end to racial segregation. The Black Panthers often engaged in reformist activities, such as establishing community centers and calling for the establishment and support of more Black-owned businesses. At the same time, they also engaged in revolutionary activities, such as arming themselves against what they viewed to be a hostile police presence within Black neighborhoods. The experience of U.S. labor unions, another example of a reformist social movement, shows the limits of the reformist approach to social change. Organized labor’s principal demands have been for fewer hours, higher wages and benefits, job security, and safer working conditions. (In Europe, similar demands have been made, although workers there have sought political power as well.) Labor unions within the United States seldom appeal to a broad constituency beyond the workers themselves, and as a result, their success has depended largely on workers’ economic power. U.S. workers have lost much of that power since the early 1970s, as economic globalization has meant the loss of many jobs to low-wage areas. Threats of strikes are no longer quite as menacing, as corporations can close factories down and reopen them elsewhere in the world. REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS  Revolutionary social movements seek to fundamentally alter the existing social, political, and economic system in keeping with a vision of a new social order. They frequently result from the belief that reformist approaches are unlikely to succeed because the political or economic system is too resistant. In fact, whether a social movement becomes predominantly reformist or revolutionary may well hinge on the degree to which its objectives can be achieved within the system. Revolutionary movements call for basic changes in economics, politics, norms, and values, offering a blueprint for a new social order that can be achieved only through mass action, usually by fostering conflict between those who favor change and those who favor the status quo. They are directed at clearly identifiable targets, such as a system of government believed to be unjust or an economy believed to be based on exploitation. Yet even the most revolutionary of social movements is likely to have reformist elements, members or factions who believe some change is possible within the established institutions. In most social movements, members debate the relative importance of reformist and revolutionary activities. While the rhetoric may favor revolution, most day-to-day activities are likely to support reform. Only when a social movement is suppressed and avenues to reform are closed off will its methods call for outright revolution. Revolutionary social movements sometimes, although by no means always, include violence. In South Africa, for example, the movements that were most successful in bringing about an end to apartheid were largely nonviolent. Those that defeated socialism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe did so with a minimal amount of bloodshed. However, revolutionary movements associated with the Arab Spring, which began in 2010 in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, have resulted in considerable violence, most often perpetrated against the protesters by those already in power or their allies. It has yet to be determined whether the Arab Spring movements have been truly revolutionary; some new governments are not radically more democratic than their predecessors. It takes time for political and economic conditions to change within any given country, and while some dictators have been removed from power, it remains to be seen whether these changes in political office will result in the changes desired by constituents. REBELLIONS  Rebellions seek to overthrow the existing social, political, and economic systems but lack detailed plans for a new social order. They are particularly common in societies where effective mobilization against existing structures is difficult or impossible because of the structures’ repressive nature. The histories of European feudalism and U.S. slavery are punctuated by examples of rebellions. Nat Turner, a Black American slave, led other slaves in an 1831 uprising against their White owners in the state of Virginia. Before the uprising was suppressed, 55 Whites were killed, and subsequently Turner and 16 of his followers were hanged (Greenberg, 2003). Social Revolutions CLICK TO SHOW p.477 BEHIND THE NUMBERS MILLIONS OF DEMONSTRATORS… OR NOT REUTERS/Lucas Jackson What kind of collective action or issue would bring you out into the street? How many demonstrators attended a protest action on a given day in a particular place? This can be a surprisingly contentious issue. For example, how many people attended the Million Man March, a huge 1995 grassroots gathering intended to highlight issues of concern to urban and minority men and their families? As Ira Flatow noted on the National Public Radio program Science Friday in 2010: “It depends on whom you ask. According to the U.S. Park Police, about 400,000. But the organizers of the march took issue with that number and asked for a recount. And using different images… a crowd counting expert at Boston University estimated the crowd to be closer to 800,000—almost twice the number that the Park Service had.” Once you become familiar with the importance of research methods, you find that the method of obtaining information can be at least as important as the information itself. When a statistic, fact, or figure is produced, it is always important to consider the process behind its production. We often hear media accounts that report numbers of demonstrators in given units of space or time (for instance, there are 200 protesters in New York City, or there are 200,000 monstrators on the National Mall). During the peak months of the Occupy movement, it was common for news organizations to report figures ostensibly representing the numbers of participants attending various actions. Where do these numbers come from? Who is keeping count? In taking a critical look behind the numbers in the U.S. case, we find that the National Park Service does not conduct official head counts of the demonstrators in given public spaces. McPherson Square, a park in Washington, D.C., was one of two nuclei for the Occupy movement in that city. The National Park Service conducted periodic estimates of the crowds there to ensure they did not surpass the regulated limit of 500 protesters (Farhi, 2011). Nevertheless, these estimates were not methodologically rigorous. Journalists often rely on best-guess estimates for crowds. Satellite pictures have become sources of information on crowds, though each such photo captures just a few moments in time (National Public Radio, 2010). So how does one get a good count of the number of participants at any given event? Stephen K. Doig, a professor at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, has a formula. He asserts that we can get closer to the “objective and scientifically accurate” end of the estimating spectrum if we know the following three variables: the human density of the demonstration, the carrying capacity of the space, and how much of the available space is occupied (National Public Radio, 2010). A perfect count, however, will likely remain elusive. THINK IT THROUGH Why are counts of participants at public demonstrations potentially controversial and contested? What makes them significant? p.478 © JIM LO SCALZO/epa/Corbis After the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan instituted vigilante justice and lynched over 4,000 African Americans for alleged crimes, including looking “the wrong way” at a White woman. White supremacist groups exemplify a resistance or countermovement that rejects racial integration and expansion of civil rights. REACTIONARY MOVEMENTS  Reactionary social movements seek to restore an earlier social system—often based on a mythical past—along with the traditional norms and values that once presumably accompanied it. These movements are termed reactionary because they arise in reaction to recent social changes that threaten or have replaced the old order. They are also sometimes referred to as countermovements or resistance movements for the same reason. For these groups, a mythical past is often the starting point for pursuing goals aimed at transforming the present. The Ku Klux Klan, the White Aryan Resistance, and other White supremacist organizations have long sought to return to a United States where Whites held exclusive political and economic power. Their methods have ranged from spreading discredited social and biological theories that expound the superiority of the “White race” to acts of violence against Black Americans, Asians, Latinos, Jews, gays and lesbians, and others deemed to be inferior or otherwise a threat to the “American way of life” (Gerhardt, 1989; Moore, 1991). Whether a social movement is viewed as reactionary or revolutionary depends to some extent on the observer’s perspective. In Iran, for example, a social movement led by the Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the nation’s pro-U.S. leader in 1979 and created an Islamic republic that quickly reestablished traditional Muslim laws. In the pronouncements of U.S. policy makers and the mass media, the new Iranian regime was reactionary: It required women to be veiled, turned its back on democratic institutions, and levied death sentences on those who violated key Islamic values or otherwise threatened the Islamic state. Yet from the point of view of the clerics who led the upheaval, the movement overthrew a corrupt and brutal dictator who had enriched his family at the expense of the Iranian people and had fostered an alien way of life offensive to traditional Iranian values. From this standpoint, the movement claimed to be revolutionary, promising to provide a better life for Iranians. As globalization threatens traditional ways of life around the world, we might expect to see an increase in reactionary social movements. This is especially likely to be the case if threats to long-standing traditional values are accompanied by declines in standards of living. In Germany, for example, a decline in living standards for many working-class people has spawned a small but significant resurgence of Nazi ideology, and racial supremacist groups blame foreign immigrants for their economic woes. The result has been a vocal campaign by skinhead groups against immigrants, particularly in the states that made up the former East Germany, which have seen greater economic upheavals than other parts of the country. Social movement participants frequently stage public demonstrations to spread their messages. Sometimes the sizes of protesting groups—which may be small but very vocal or may be awe-inspiring—are unclear, as we see in the Behind the Numbers box on page 477. UTOPIAN MOVEMENTS  Utopian social movements seek to withdraw from the dominant society by creating their own ideal communities. The youth movements of the 1960s had a strong utopian impulse; many young (and a few older) people “dropped out” and formed their own communities, starting alternative newspapers, health clinics, and schools and in general seeking to live according to their own value systems outside the established social institutions. Some sought to live communally as well, pooling their resources and sharing tasks and responsibilities. They saw these efforts to create “intentional” communities, based on cooperation rather than competition, as the seeds of a revolutionary new society. Although religious utopian movements have proved to be somewhat enduring, those based on social philosophy have not. Some “utopian socialist” communities were founded in the United States during the 19th century; some provided models for the socialist collectives of the 1960s. Few lasted for any length of time. The old ways of thinking and acting proved remarkably tenacious, and the presence of the larger society—which remained basically unchanged by the experimentation—was a constant temptation. “Alternative” institutions such as communally run newspapers and health clinics found they had to contend with well-funded mainstream competitors. Most folded or reverted to mainstream forms (Fairfield, 1972; Nordhoff, 1875/1975; Rothschild & Whitt, 1987). p.479 WHY DO SOCIAL MOVEMENTS ARISE? Although social movements have existed throughout history, modern society has created conditions in which they thrive and multiply. The rise of the modern democratic nation-state, along with the development of capitalism, has fueled their growth. Democratic forms of governance, which emphasize social equality and the right of political participation, legitimate the belief that people should organize themselves politically to achieve their goals. Democratic nation-states give rise to social movements—and often protect them as well. Capitalism, which raises universal economic expectations while producing some inequality, further spurs the formation of such movements. Given these general historical circumstances, sociologists have advanced a number of theories to explain why people sometimes come together to create or resist social change. Some focus on the micro level, looking at the characteristics and motivations of the people who join social movements. Some focus on the organizational level, looking at the characteristics that result in successful social movement organizations. Some focus on the macro level, examining the societal conditions that give rise to social movements. More recently, theories have emphasized cultural dimensions of social movements, stressing the extent to which social movements reflect—as well as shape—larger cultural understandings. An ideal theory would bridge all these levels, and some efforts have been made to develop one. MICRO-LEVEL APPROACHES  Much research has focused on what motivates individuals to become active members of social movements. Psychological factors turn out to be poor predictors. Neither personality nor personal alienation adequately accounts for activist leanings. Rather, participation seems motivated more by psychological identification with others who are similarly afflicted (Marwell & Oliver, 1993; McAdam, 1982). Sociology generally explains activism in such terms as having had prior contact with movement members, belonging to social networks that support movement activity, and having a history of activism (McAdam, 1986; Snow, Zurcher, & Ekland-Olson, 1980). Coming from a family background of social activism may also be important. One study, for example, found that many White male activists during the early 1960s social movements had parents who themselves had been activists 30 years earlier (Flacks, 1971). A lack of personal constraints may also be a partial explanation; it is obviously easier for individuals to engage in political activity if work or family circumstances afford them the necessary time and resources (McCarthy & Zald, 1973). Finally, a sense of moral rightness may provide a powerful motivation to become active, even when the work is difficult and the monetary rewards are small or nonexistent (Jenkins, 1983). Social movements always suffer from the free rider problem, however—that is, many people avoid the costs of social movement activism (such as time, energy, and other personal resources) and still benefit from its success (Marwell & Oliver, 1993). Why not let others join the social movement and do the hard work, since if the movement succeeds everyone will benefit, regardless of degree of participation? Clearly it takes a great deal of motivation and commitment, as well as a conviction that their efforts may make a difference, for people to devote their time to mailing leaflets or organizing marches; building such motivation and commitment is a major challenge faced by all social movements. ORGANIZATIONAL-LEVEL APPROACHES  Some recent research has been devoted to understanding how social movements are consciously and deliberately organized to create social change. This research focuses on social movement organizations (SMOs), formal organizations that seek to achieve social change through noninstitutionalized forms of political action. The study of SMOs represents a major sociological step away from regarding social change as resulting from unorganized individuals and crowds. Instead, it places the study of social change within the framework of the sociology of organizations. Because social movement organizations constitute a type of formal organization, sociologists use the same concepts and tools to study civil rights organizations and revolutionary groups as they do to study business firms and government bureaucracies. Researchers conceptualize SMOs’ actions as rational, their goals as more or less clearly defined, and their organizational structures as bureaucratically oriented toward specific measurable goals (Jenkins, 1983; McCarthy & Zald, 1977). Social movement organizations range from informal volunteer groups to professional organizations with full-time leadership and staff. A single social movement may sustain numerous such organizations: A partial list associated with the 1960s civil rights movement includes the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and the Black Panther Party. As social movements grow, so too do the number of SMOs associated with them, each vying for members, financial support, and media attention. p.480 One influential approach to the study of social movement organizations is resource mobilization theory, a theory that focuses on the ability of social movement organizations to generate money, membership, and political support to achieve their objectives. This approach argues that since discontent and social strain are always present among some members of any society, these factors cannot explain the rise or the relative success of social movements. Rather, what matters are differences in the resources available to different groups and how effectively they use them. The task for sociologists, then, is to explain why some SMOs are better able to deploy scarce resources than others (Jenkins, 1983; McAdam, 1988). Among the most important resources are tangible assets such as money, facilities, and means of communication, as well as such intangibles such as a central core of dedicated, skilled, hardworking members (Jenkins, 1983). Much like businesses, then, social movement organizations rise or fall on their ability to be competitive in a resource-scarce environment. Some scholars have even written of “social movement industries,” with competing organizations engaging in “social marketing” to promote their particular “brands” of social change (Jenkins, 1983; Zald & McCarthy, 1980). Governmental policies are important determinants of the success or failure of social movement organizations. The government may repress an organization, driving it underground so that it has difficulty in operating. Or the government may favor more moderate organizations (for example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference) over other, more radical ones (such as the Black Panther Party). Other ways in which the government affects SMOs are through regulating them, providing favorable tax treatment for those that qualify, and refraining from excessive surveillance or harassment (McAdam et al., 1988). The success or failure of social movement organizations also depends on their ability to influence the mass media. During the 1960s, the anti–Vietnam War organizations became very effective in commanding the television spotlight, although this effectiveness proved a mixed blessing: Media coverage frequently sensationalized demonstrations rather than presenting the underlying issues, thus contributing to rivalries and tensions within the antiwar movement (Gitlin, 1980). Today, arguably, social media exercise even greater influence on movement success. Although some scholars have argued that larger, more bureaucratic social movement organizations are likely to be successful in the long run (Gamson, 1975), others have claimed that mass defiance, rather than formal organization, is the key to success (Piven & Cloward, 1977). Paradoxically, too much success may undermine social movements, since their strength derives partly from their being outside society’s power structures as they make highly visible demands for social change. Once a group’s demands are met, the participants are often drawn inside the very power structures they once sought to change. Movement leaders become bureaucrats, their fights are conducted by lawyers and government officials, and rank-and-file members disappear; the militant thrust of the organization is then blunted (Piven & Cloward, 1977). A related problem is goal displacement, which occurs when a social movement organization’s original goals become redirected toward enhancing the organization and its leadership (McCarthy & Zald, 1973). The U.S. labor movement is an example: Once labor unions became successful, many of them became large and prosperous bureaucracies that were perceived as distanced from the needs of their rank-and-file members. In the end, social movement organizations have to motivate people to support their causes, often with dollars as well as votes. Many groups engage in grassroots organizing, attempts to mobilize support among the ordinary members of a community. This organizing may range from door-to-door canvassing to leafleting to get people to attend massive demonstrations. Most social movements emerge from a group that has some grievance, and their active members consist largely of people who will directly benefit from any social change that occurs. Some social movement organizations also depend on conscience constituents, people who provide resources for a social movement organization but who are not themselves members of the aggrieved group that the organization champions (McCarthy & Zald, 1973). Such supporters are motivated by strong ethical convictions rather than by direct self-interest in achieving the social movement’s goals. The National Coalition for the Homeless, for example, consists primarily of public interest lawyers, shelter operators, and others who advocate on behalf of homeless people; only a relatively small number of homeless people are directly involved in the organization. Homeless advocacy groups raise money from numerous sources, including media celebrities and direct mailings to ordinary citizens (Blau, 1992). MACRO-LEVEL APPROACHES  Regardless of the efforts particular social movement organizations make, large-scale economic, political, and cultural conditions ultimately determine a movement’s success or failure. For a social movement to arise and succeed, conditions must be such that people feel it is necessary and are willing to support it. Therefore, social movements emerge and flourish in times of other social change, particularly if people experience that change as disruptive of their daily lives (McAdam et al., 1988; Tilly, 1978). For example, the labor movement arose with the emergence of industrial capitalism, which brought harsh conditions to the lives of many people, and the women’s movement reemerged in the 1960s, when expanded educational opportunities for women left many female college graduates feeling marginalized and alienated as full-time homemakers and workplace discrimination threw obstacles in the way of their workplace aspirations. p.481 AP Photo/JEFF WIDENER This iconic image shows one man standing in opposition to four tanks in Tiananmen Square, China, on June 5, 1989. Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators sought political and economic changes in a weeks long occupation of the square. Many were injured or killed in a government crackdown. Some political systems encourage social movements, while others repress them (Gale, 1986). When a government is in crisis, it may respond by becoming more repressive, or it may create a space for social movements to flourish. The former action occurred in China in 1989, when thousands of students and workers, frustrated by deteriorating economic conditions and rigid government controls, took to the streets to demand greater economic and political freedom. The brutal crackdown at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, televised live to a global audience, ended the nascent social movement for democracy. Likewise, government crackdowns on demonstrators and social movement participants have been widespread throughout the Middle East and North Africa as the Arab Spring movements have progressed—Syria’s protest movement has, as of this writing, deteriorated into a civil war between the authoritarian government and those who seek its replacement. Just as economic and political collapse may facilitate the rise of social movements, so too may prosperity. Resources for social activism are more abundant, mass media and other means of communication are more likely to be readily available, and activists are more likely to have independent means of supporting themselves. Prosperous societies are also more likely to have large classes of well-educated people, a group that has historically provided the leadership in many social movements (McAdam et al., 1988; McCarthy & Zald, 1973; Zald & McCarthy, 1980). Finally, even the spatial organization of society has been seen as having an impact on social movements. Dense, concentrated neighborhoods or workplaces facilitate social interaction and spur the growth of social movements. A century and a half ago, Karl Marx recognized that cities and factories were powerful breeding grounds for revolutionary insurgency against capitalism, since they brought previously isolated workers together in single locations. Subsequent research has sustained his conclusion (Marx & Engels, 1848/1998; Tilly, 1975). The concentration of students on college campuses contributed to the rise of student activism in the 1960s (Lofland, 1985). CULTURAL-LEVEL STUDIES AND “FRAME ALIGNMENT”  Much of the research we have discussed emphasizes the political, economic, and organizational conditions that either help or hinder the rise of social movements. Sociologists have often regarded social movements as by-products of favorable social circumstances rather than as the active accomplishments of their members. Today, however, instead of stressing how important it is for conditions to be ripe for social movements to thrive, many sociologists are thinking about how social movement organizations themselves are continually interpreting events so as to align themselves better with the cultural understanding of the wider society. The Tea Party movement is a good example. While it has a long list of political goals it wants to achieve, it has succeeded in rallying people around the idea that “big government” and taxation are a threat to freedom and liberty. These are ideas that resonate with those who have some suspicion of intrusive government. The movement seeks to create a “good fit” between itself and the people who are its likely constituents. Sociologists think of that fit in terms of frame alignment, the process by which the interests, understandings, and values of a social movement organization are shaped to match those in the wider society. If their members’ understandings align with the understandings of others in a community or society, social movements are likely to be successful; otherwise they are likely to fail. Social movement organizations achieve frame alignment in a variety of ways, ranging from modifying the beliefs of members to attempting to change the beliefs of the entire society (Snow, Rochford, Worden, & Benford, 1986). In one common situation, people already share the social movement’s concerns and understandings but lack the means to bring about the desired changes. In this case, there is no need for the social movement organization to get people to change their thinking about the problem; rather, the task is to get people to support the movement’s efforts to do something about it. The SMO must “get the word out,” whether through informal networks, social media, or direct-mail campaigns. p.482 REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia While environmental activism has a long history in the United States, in the past 10 to 15 years it has been reignited and challenged in a debate over climate change. Scientists, academics, and activists are concerned by scientific evidence that global warming is being accelerated by human activity. Today there is a global environmental movement fighting for greater attention and resources. Sometimes the social movement’s concerns are only weakly shared by others. In this case, the challenge for the social movement organization is to get people engaged and concerned enough to take action, perhaps by amplifying their concern that something they strongly believe in requires political action. The environmental movement is a case in point. Many scientists and a large number of other people are convinced that the earth is warming at a rapid rate due to the emission of industrial gases into the atmosphere. The movement has grown rapidly, but it has also produced a large number of skeptics, including politicians, who deny that climate change is taking place. Groups such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace and the owners of retail chains such as Patagonia and REI actively provide information on climate change to the public in the hope of spurring individuals to action. Finally, a social movement organization may seek to build support by attempting to change the way people think entirely. Revolutionary SMOs, for example, urge people to stop thinking of themselves as victims of bad luck, focusing attention instead on the faults of the political or economic system, which presumably requires a drastic overhaul. To sum up, social movement organizations are competing for the hearts and minds of their constituents, with whom they must somehow bring their own beliefs and analyses into alignment if they are to succeed. MICROMOBILIZATION CONTEXTS FOR BUILDING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Some conditions are ideal for social movement organizations to spring up. Sociologists call these micromobilization contexts, small-group settings in which people are able to generate a shared set of beliefs to explain some social problem, along with the necessary social organization to do something about it (McAdam et al., 1988). Both formal and informal social networks usually exist in these settings, making it easier for members to understand why a micro-level problem, such as a personal experience of racism, is in fact the result of macro-level social forces, such as institutional racism. The civil rights movement, for example, emerged at a time when the Black community was developing strong local organizations, including schools, churches, and political groups. These highly interconnected institutions provided fertile ground for the seeds of social activism (McAdam, 1982). Other examples are unions, student support groups, and even friendship networks, which are more elaborate in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media (Bekkers, Edwards, & Moody, 2010). Micromobilization contexts also create the basic organizational framework required to address a problem—including leadership, mass media, and other communications technologies—as well as specific roles for movement activists and motivation to get involved. These incentives range from the emotional rewards that come from belonging to a group dedicated to a common cause to paid salaries. Micromobilization contexts thus serve as the bridge that connects the personal concerns of individuals to collectives hoping to create large-scale social change (Abrahams, 1992; Scott, 1990). Finally, micromobilization contexts provide the starting point for cycles of protest that begin in one place and then spread—to new locations as well as to new social movements (Tarrow, 1983). Members of social movement organizations learn from one another and copy one another’s techniques, acquiring large repertoires of protest activities in the process (Bekkers et al., 2010; Tilly, 1978). NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Social movements have often served as a means to an end: People come together to achieve specific objectives, such as improving the conditions of workers, gaining equality for the disadvantaged, or protesting a war. In the past, participation in such social movements was often separate from members’ personal lives. Since the 1960s, however, many social movements have sought to break the boundary between politics and personal life. In addition to being a means for changing the world, the social movement organization has come to be seen as a vehicle for personal change and growth (Giugni & Passy, 1998). p.483 In a sense, this progression reflects the sociological imagination, which calls for us to understand the relationship between our personal experiences and larger social forces. Social movements that have embraced this perspective have been labeled new social movements. While they often address political and economic issues, they are fundamentally concerned with the quality of private life, often advocating large-scale changes in the way people think and act. New social movements may be formally organized, with clearly defined roles (leadership, recruiting, and so on), or they may be informal and loosely organized, preferring spontaneous and confrontational methods to more bureaucratic approaches. Part of the purpose of new social movements in protesting, in fact, is not to force a distinction between “them” and “us” but to draw attention to the movement’ own right to exist as equals with other groups in society (Gamson, 1989; Omvedt, 1992; Tucker, 1991). The new social movements aim to improve life in a wide range of areas subject to governmental, business, or other large-scale institutional control, from the workplace to sexuality, health, education, and interpersonal relationships. Four characteristics set these movements apart from earlier ones (Melucci, 1989): 1.   The new social movements focus not just on the distribution of material goods but also on the control of symbols and information—an appropriate goal for an “information society” in which the production and ownership of knowledge are increasingly valuable. 2.   People join new social movement organizations not purely to achieve specific goals but also because they value participation for its own sake. For instance, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) movements have provided safe havens for members in addition to pursuing social change. 3.   Rather than large, bureaucratically run, top-down organizations, the new social movements are often networks of people engaged in routine daily activities. For example, a small online movement was begun by a woman who objected to an unannounced $5 charge on her credit card bill; her protest was joined by thousands of others, and the bank rescinded the charge. Groups trying to raise awareness of climate change and threats to the environment often are loosely organized and register their concerns online and through other media such as newspapers and television talk shows. 4.   The new social movements strongly emphasize the interconnectedness of planetary life and may see their actions as tied to a vision of the planet as a whole, rather than centering on narrow self-interest. “Think globally, act locally” is the watchword and includes but is not limited to an acute awareness of environmental issues. WHY STUDY SOCIAL CHANGE? Human beings make their own history, but they do not make it out of thin air. Every generation inherits certain constraints, characteristics of the society that limit their vision and their choices, and resources, characteristics of the society that they can mobilize in new and creative ways. People are constrained by existing institutions and social relationships. Social structures provide the resources for human action, even as the actions themselves are oriented toward changing those structures (Giddens, 1985). The sociologically significant processes of globalization and technological change provide both resources and constraints for people everywhere. Social movements themselves may become increasingly internationalized (Marx & McAdam, 1994). Economic globalization, like most social processes, has both positive and negative effects. On one hand, it opens up the possibility of a vast increase in global productive capacity, technological advances, global cooperation, and an increase in the standard of living for people around the world. On the other hand, globalization may also lead to lowered wages and to job losses in high-wage industrial countries, as well as to exploitative labor conditions in the low-wage countries of the world. Concerns about such problems have given rise to labor and environmental groups that operate across national borders (Barry & Sims, 1994). We live at a moment in history that contains enormous possibilities as well as daunting problems. Without an understanding of these social forces, we will be unable to act intelligently to bring about the kind of world we most desire. Your understanding of the forces shaping social change today will enable you and tomorrow’s citizens to act more effectively to shape your social world. Violence Against Women Social Movement CLICK TO SHOW p.484 WHAT CAN I DO WITH A SOCIOLOGY DEGREE?       CAREER DEVELOPMENT: SELECTED SOCIOLOGY CAREER RESOURCES Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. The subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender, and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge. —American Sociological Association, 2005 The study of sociology offers a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills. Sociology majors can also benefit from knowledge of academic, professional, and career resources. This feature offers an overview of resources that you can use for further research. Additional resources are available at the book’s website. Professional Associations for Sociologists •    American Society of Criminology: www.asc41.com •    American Sociological Association: www.asanet.org •    Archaeological Institute of America: www.archaeological.org •    Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology: www.aacsnet.net •    Association for Humanist Sociology: web.ccsu.edu/ahs •    Eastern Sociological Society: www.essnet.org •    Good Works Foundation: www.goodworks.org •    International Sociological Association: www.isa-sociology.org •    Midwest Sociological Society: www.themss.org •    National Association for the Practice of Anthropology: www.practicinganthropology.org •    National Organization for Human Services: www.nationalhumanservices.org •    North Central Sociological Association: www.ncsanet.org •    Pacific Sociological Association: www.pacificsoc.org •    Social Science Research Council: www.ssrc.org •    Society for American Archaeology: www.saa.org •    Society for Applied Anthropology: www.sfaa.net •    Society for the Study of Social Problems: www.sssp1.org •    Sociologists for Women in Society: www.socwomen.org •    Southern Sociological Society: www.southernsociologicalsociety.org •    Southwestern Social Science Association: www.sssaonline.org •    Urban Affairs Association: www.urbanaffairsassociation.org Selected Occupational Fields for Sociology Majors •    Business and management •    Community organizing/advocacy/affairs •    Criminal justice •    Education •    Human services •    Journalism/writing •    Law •    Management consulting •    Marketing and advertising •    Nonprofit management/administration •    Policy research, planning, and development •    Politics •    Program analysis/management •    Public relations p.485 •    Social work •    Sociology •    Youth services Sample Work Settings •    Business/management •    City management •    Community outreach organizations •    Courts/law enforcement agencies •    Departments of human services/children’s services/education/justice/veterans’ affairs •    Elementary, secondary, and higher education •    Federal, state, and local government •    Law firms •    Marketing/market research/sales •    Nonprofits/nongovernmental organizations •    Political campaigns and offices •    Public relations/advertising •    Research institutes •    Social service agencies •    Think tanks •    Universities and colleges sources of Information on Employment Trends and Employment Sectors •    American Enterprise Institute •    American Institutes for Research •    American Sociological Association •    Brookings Institution •    Economic Policy Institute •    Gallup •    National Association of Colleges and Employers •    National Opinion Research Center •    O*NET (U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Network) •    Partnership for Public Service •    RAND Corporation •    Westat •    Urban Institute •    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics •    U.S. Census Bureau •    Your university or college career center Online Job Search Tools •    www.bridgespan.org (nonprofit jobs) •    www.careerbuilder.com (social work jobs) •    www.change.org •    www.geron.org •    www.idealist.org •    www.linkedin.com •    www.nonprofitjobseeker.com •    www.opportunityknocksnow.org •    www.ourpublicservice.org •    www.USAjobs.gov OTHER Resources National Association of Colleges and Employers: www.naceweb.org Occupational Outlook Handbook: www.bls.gov/ooh O*NET OnLine: www.onetonline.org Weigers Vitullo, M. (2009). Searching for a job with an undergraduate degree in sociology. ASA Footnotes, 37(7). Retrieved from http://www.asanet.org/footnotes/septoct09/job_0909.html   p.486   SUMMARY •    Sociologists disagree about whether social change is gradual or abrupt, and about whether all societies are changing in roughly the same direction. The evolutionary, revolutionary, and rise-and-fall theories of social change are three approaches to these questions. •    Some early sociologists viewed collective behavior as a form of group contagion in which the veneer of civilization gave way to more instinctive, herdlike forms of behavior. •    A more sociological approach, emergent norm theory, examines the ways in which crowds and other forms of collective behavior develop their own rules and shared understandings. •    The most comprehensive theory of collective behavior, value-added theory, attempts to take into account the necessary conditions for collective behavior at the individual, organizational, and even societal levels. •    Social movements have been important historical vehicles for bringing about social change. They are usually achieved through social movement organizations (SMOs), which we study using the tools and understandings of organizational sociology. •    We can classify social movements as reformist, revolutionary, rebellious, reactionary, utopian, or “new,” depending on their vision of social change. •    Resource mobilization theory argues that we can explain the success or failure of SMOs not by the degree of social strain that may explain their origins but by their organizational ability to marshal the financial and personal resources they need. •    In recent years sociologists have sought to explain how social movements align their own beliefs and values with those of their potential constituents in the wider society. Frame alignment activities range from modifying the beliefs of the SMO to attempting to change the beliefs of the entire society. •    Many social movements depend heavily on conscience constituents for their support. Micromobilization contexts are also important incubators of social movements. •    Globalization has created an opportunity for the formation of global social movements, since many of the problems in the world today are global and require global solutions. •    New social movements, organized around issues of personal identity and values, differ from earlier social movements in that they focus on symbols and information as well as material issues, participation is frequently seen as an end in itself, the movements are organized as networks rather than bureaucratically, and they emphasize the interconnectedness of social groups and larger social entities. KEY TERMS differentiation, 463 rise-and-fall theories of social change, 465 collective behavior, 468 crowds, 468 emergent norms, 469 riot, 470 fads, 470 fashions, 471 panic, 471 craze, 471 rumors, 472 social movement, 472 reformist social movements, 473 revolutionary social movements, 476 rebellions, 476 reactionary social movements, 478 utopian social movements, 478 free rider problem, 479 social movement organizations (SMOs), 479 resource mobilization theory, 480 grassroots organizing, 480 conscience constituents, 480 frame alignment, 481 new social movements, 482 p.487 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1.   Consider what you have learned about social movements and social change in this chapter. How is the global expansion of social media likely to change how people pursue social change? How has it done so already? 2.   Under what kinds of societal conditions do movements for social change seem to emerge? Describe a societal context that has brought about or could bring about the development of such a movement. 3.   How do fads differ from fashions? Offer some examples of each, and consider whether and how setting phenomena in these different categories can shed light on their roots and functions. 4.   What are the different types of social movements identified by sociologists? What characteristics are used to differentiate these types? 5.   Design a social movement. What problem or issue would you want to address? How would you overcome the problems of social movements that were identified in this chapter?   Sharpen your skills with SAGE edge at edge.sagepub.com/chambliss2e A personalized approach to help you accomplish your coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment. p.488

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