SOC 479 Social Movements Syllabus

University of Toronto, Fall 2016


About This Course

This course is designed to understand and analyze social movements, an important form of human interactions aiming for social change. Studying social movements constitutes one of the central fields of sociological inquiry as it involves individual behavior, collective action, building organizations and coalitions, cultural interpretations and innovation, and institutional changes. This class will explore what social movements are, who participate and lead social movements, when and how social movements rise and fall, and what outcomes follow social movements. We will examine diverse theoretical approaches and perspectives within the social movement literature to analyze various empirical cases of social movements that have risen across different parts of the world in different historical times. These cases range from the traditional labor movement to the recent Black-Lives-Matter protests. To address various questions pertaining to social movements, this class will incorporate a variety of learning methods including readings, films, discussions, and case study presentations.