Social Movements

Be sure and write a thorough and detailed response to the question below. The exam must be the computer or typewritten and double-spaced. There is a strict FIVE-PAGE limit; any exam longer than five double-spaced pages will be penalized one “step” (i.e., a B will become a B-). The midterm will be assigned a letter grade, and this grade will be worth 30 percent of your final grade. If you produce your exam on a word-processor, be sure to press the spell-check button before printing your final exam. PLEASE write your exam with a minimum of a 10 point font and a minimum of 1-inch spacing on the sides, top, and bottom. Also, PLEASE number the pages. You can cite texts and quotes either in the text [i.e., “…as Staggenborg writes” (p. 163); “ ‘The strategy of muddling the public’s impression of climate science has proved to be highly effective’.” (McKibben 2018:8)], or in footnotes or endnotes. You may attach a separate, additional title page if you prefer. Also, you may attach an additional page as a bibliography, as well as place endnotes in this separate page, if you prefer. These will NOT count against the page limit. Be sure to SPELL CHECK YOUR ESSAY EXAM before submitting it. A word of advice: address all parts of the essay topic. Some people find outlines very helpful in this regard. Partial answers – no matter how good – cannot be given full credit. I do not accept late exams unless a student documents an emergency situation with a doctor’s notice or discusses circumstances with me beforehand. YOU ARE ADVISED TO USE THE FULL NUMBER OF PAGES ALLOWED.

IMPORTANT: You MUST submit an Internet version of this Final via Canvas by 6 PM May 11th. To use Canvas, go to the Canvas site (to find this, go the right-bottom of the UMKC main web page at (Links to an external site.) and click the Canvas icon), log-in, then click on the course you are enrolled; this brings you to the course home page, simply scroll down from here to the section “Turnitin Assignments” and submit it under the appropriate Take-Home Exam.


In the last section of this course, we have reviewed three groups of social movements that have significant impacts on American society in recent decades, as well as the rise of both right-wing and left-wing populism that straddles social movements and conventional politics in the respective campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in both 2016 and 2020. Write an essay that explains the importance of these three groups of movements, plus the rise of the right- and left-wing populism, either nationally or globally or both:

1. the alter-globalization movement, that Staggenborg calls the global justice movement;


2. new American right movements, such as the anti-abortion movement or the Tea Party movement;

3. the Trump and Sanders presidential campaigns in both 2016 and 2020 that straddle(d) the boundary between social movements proper and “mainstream” political campaigns;


4. the environmental movement.


Briefly discuss the impact of these movements on social and political developments in the United States. Place movements in their respective historical contexts, and use the counter-institutional model of social movements and the concept of a symbolic mythos of various types that galvanize such movements in carrying out your analysis. [HINT: In doing this, consider how the counter-institutional model synthesizes the political process model of social movements with new social movement theory and its emphasis on beliefs, rhetoric, and symbols]. Also, consider how cheap jet travel, the Internet, and more recently social media on cell phones have combined to make possible and magnify the rapid mobilization of social movement networks with transnational effects. At some point, comment on whether or not any of these movements have developed new patterns of modular protest activity. Finally, be sure to use the concept of the institution when appropriate.

In answering this question, use examples cited in the course materials and/or during class sessions to illustrate your arguments as much as possible. Be sure to use some of the concepts introduced by Staggenborg, McMichael, Lerner, Garcelon, Raban, Hertzberg, Brubaker, McKibben, Ehrlich, and others (you need only cite authors from three of the four topics you choose to write about). These might include antagonistic re-politicization, the Anthropocene, antifeminism, antipolitical Jacobins, astroturfing, climate change, ‘environmentalism as a Polanyian counter-movement’ [HINT: look at pp. 179-82 in McMichael], fusionism, globalization, frame bridging [HINT: look at pp. 177 in Staggenborg], green lobbying, ‘matrix of transnational feminist networks’ [HINT: look at pp. 197 in McMichael], media strategies, movement entrepreneurs, populist conjuncture, stylistic repertoire, ‘suburban warriors’, third-wave environmentalism, transnational coalition formation, transnational advocacy networks, etc. All best!

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