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Getting Involved in Social Movements Essay

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Updated: Feb 2nd, 2022

Human beings are more social compared to all other domestic and wild animals. People have emotions and feelings that drive them to form associations to bring them together and address their interests. There are many forms of movements in the world depending on the reasons that necessitate their formation (Goodwin 2009). While most movements serve individuals’ interests few of them fight for human rights and equality to prevail in society. In addition, most movements exist for long periods while only a handful collapse soon after their establishments.

A movement is an association formed by people sharing a common interest and seeking progress in their lifestyles. They may be formed to address social, economic, or political aspects of society. There is no fixed number of members a movement must have to obtain its legitimacy (Snow 2009). However, movements that have many followers command a lot of respect from members of society and their governments. In addition, they have high chances of seeing their projects succeed regardless of the barriers they encounter.

Politics enables people to seek various political positions through political parties. Therefore, they form or join political parties to advance their quest for democracy, economic growth, social and legal reforms among other issues (Snow 2009). Consequently, civilians join political parties hoping they will have democracy and a friendly economy in the near future. This leads to the formation of various political parties headed by different leaders as each party struggles to ascend to power through elections.

On the other hand, workers like teachers, doctors, nurses, farmers and investors form movements that will serve their interests. Civil servants and other workers seek better working conditions, fair salaries and compensations from their employers. It is impossible for employers to listen to workers’ complaints if they are all allowed to present them to their leaders (Goodwin 2009). However, through workers’ movements they are able to present their petitions to their employers on time. Therefore, there is the need to form movements through which workers access their rights as well as enjoy their privileges.

Last but not least, movements may be formed to educate the public regarding various issues of concern to them. There is the need for governments to establish many channels through which they can implement various policies. It is much easier to help civilians in times of crisis through movements than addressing an individual’s needs. There is no doubt that this saves time and money that would otherwise have been used to travel to various destinations.

Movements not only require registration of members but also monetary support from their members. While government’s movements may not require registration and other fees, private movements require funds to finance their projects. Governments have adequate funds to pay workers and support various projects in their movements (Tilley 2009). On the other hand, private movements acquire their funds from members through registration and annual fees. In addition, these movements earn income through community projects and philanthropists. There is no movement that can exist without finances since workers need salaries while movements require funds to finance their projects and other expenses.

However, it is extremely impossible for most people to donate money or render their services to most movements. Since these associations are formed by people advancing their interests it is not easy to achieve efficient management. Some movements do not use donations for their intended reasons and thus discourage well wishers from helping them. Even though, people do not expect profit from these movements they expect appreciation for their funds and services through transparent and accountable use of their donations (Snow 2009). Leadership is a crucial element that determines the progress of any movement. However, most public movements have leadership wrangles due to abuse of policies and privileges. Most leaders think they have rights to use resources as they wish without knowing they must account for all expenses incurred.

However, some movements have strict policies that have clear transparency and accountability policies. They include churches, sports associations, political parties, community based groups and workers movements. In addition, they have moral regulations that ensure their leaders and members portray moral maturity to promote their images and attract other people to join them (Snow 2009). However, most political movements are extremely repulsive since they neglect national interests.

Some politicians use political parties to advance their selfish interests and neglect those who propelled them to power (Tilley 2009). In addition, most developing countries abuse democracy and use provision of multi party systems to advance ethnicity. Some politicians may form coalitions to bar their competitors from ascending to power and discriminates against minority groups. Finally, these countries fail to have free and fair elections and experience continuous political instabilities.

People should be encouraged to form and join various movements to enable them have access to their rights. On the other hand, leaders must use their positions to serve their people and avoid selfish interests that deter them from performing their duties effectively. People should conduct investigations before joining any movement to ensure their sacrifices are not abused.


Goodwin, J. (2009). The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts (Blackwell Readers in Sociology). Boston: Willey-Blackwell.

Snow, D. (2009). A Primer on Social Movements (Contemporary Societies Series). New York: W. W. Norton and Company.

Tilley, C. (2009). Social Movements, 1768-2008: Second Edition. New York: Paradigm Publisher.

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