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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: AMST 375
Course Title: *Social Movements
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Emphasis on sociological analysis of social movements of twentieth century America. Emphasis on the application of sociological theories to the conditions that facilitate social movements, from their development to how success is measured. Case studies of the Progressive era reform movements, the labor movement, the women's movement, the environmental movement,†the gay rights movement, the civil rights movement, ethnic identity movements, anti-globalization movements, Occupy Wall Street, and other movements. Cross-listed as SOCI†375. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Make Love, Not War: The Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History
By Allyn, Davis (Routledge)
Forging Gay Identities: Organizing Sexuality in San Francisco, 1950-1994
By Armstrong, Elizabeth (University of Chicago Press)
Teaching the Civil Rights Movement: Freedomís Bittersweet Song
By Armstrong, Julie Buckner, et. a (Routledge)
Sweatshop USA: The American Sweatshop in Historical and Global Perspective
By Bender, Daniel and Richard A. Greenwald (Routledge)
Teamsters and Turtles? U.S. Progressive Political Movements in the 21st Century
By Berg, John C. ( Rowman and Littlefield)
Gaiaís Wager: Environmental Movements and the Challenge of Sustainability
By Bryner, Gary C. (Rowman and Littlefield)
Rage on the Right: The American Militia Movement from Ruby Ridge to Homeland Security
By Crothers, Lane (Rowman and Littlefield)
A Very Different Age: Americans of the Progressive Era
By Diner, Steven J. (Hill and Wang)
Music and Social Movements: Mobilizing Traditions in the Twentieth Century
By Eyerman, Ron and Andrew Jamison (Cambridge)
The War on Choice
By Feldt, Gloria (Random House)
No Turning Back: The History of American Feminism and the Future of Women
By Freedman, Estelle B. (Random House)
Waves of Protest: Social Movements Since the Sixties
By Freeman, Jo and Victoria Johnson (Rowman and Littlefield)
The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
By Gitlin, Todd (Random House)
Rethinking Social Movements: Structure, Meaning, Emotion
By Goodwin, Jeff and James M. Jasper (Rowman and Littlefield)
Cyberpolitics: Citizen Activism in the Age of the Internet
By Hill, Kevin A. and John E. Hughes (Rowman and Littlefield)
In the Footsteps of Gandhi: Conversations with Spiritual Social Activists
By Ingram, Catherine (Parallax Press)
The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism
By Labaton, Vivian and Dawn Lundy Martin (Knopf Academic Publishers)
Waves of Democracy: Social Movements and Political Change
By Markoff (Sage Publications)
Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice
By McCaughey, Martha and Michael D. Ayers (Routledge)
Poor Peopleís Movements: Why They Succeed and How They Fail
By Piven, Frances Fox and Richard A. Cloward (Vintage)
Freedom is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements
By Polletta, Francesca (University of Chicago Press)
Sounding Off: Music as Subversion/Resistance/Revolution
By Sakolshy, Ron and Fred Wei-Han Ho (Autonomedia)
Social Movements, 1768-2004
By Tilly, Charles (Paradigm Publishers)
Course Objectives
  • To understand social movements from a sociological perspective; understand the conditions that facilitate their emergence; how “success” is measured.
  • To understand significant social movements of the 20th century from a sociological perspective: progressive era movements, the labor movement, the women’s movement, racial/ethnic movements of the 1960s and 1970s such as the civil rights movement, the red power movement and the chicano rights movement, the environmental movement, and the gay rights movement.
    Measurable Learning
  • Differentiate between social movements and collective behavior.
  • Analyze competing theories of social movements.
  • Assess social movement success.
  • Describe significant social movements of 20th century American society.
  • Evaluate the impact of such movements on American society.
    Topical Outline:
  • Social movements and collective behavior.
  • Sociological theories of social movements
    - Relative deprivation theory
    - Resource mobilization theory
    - Political process theory
    - Smelser’s necessary conditions for a social movement to emerge
    - RSMO’s - radical social movement organizations
  • Assessing social movement success
  • Analysis of American social movements
    - The progressive era
    - The labor movement
    - The women’s movement
    - Racial/ethnic movements of the 60s/70s
    * The civil rights movement
    * The red power movement
    * The chicano rights movement
    * The environmental movement
  • Status of social movements today
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: August 26, 2014
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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