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OB 632: Social Movements

Social movement activists frequently target organizations (e.g., corporations, universities) in order to bring about political and social change. Because most organizations are not democracies, movements must find ways to penetrate their closed boundaries if they are to have an influence inside organizations. At the same time, social movements create organizational structures that help them carry out their goals, reproduce their missions and tactics, and effectively generate collective action. The purpose of this course is to examine the complex relationship between social movements and organizations. In order to understand the empirical link between movements and organizations, we will rely on social movement and organizational theory. Like the phenomena they seek to explain, these theories are strongly intertwined. In this course, we will cover topics related to how movements use organizations to propel change, and topics related to how movements help generate social change by targeting organizations. We will also evaluate the theoretical developments at the nexus of these two literatures, identifying the major innovations as well as looking for new research opportunities.
Units: 3 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
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