Civil Rights Movement Essay

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Social movement is a key driver of social change. Social movement can be defined as groups of individuals or organizations that have a main focus on political or social issues. The movements build off of a collective behavior to promote a particular idea that is to be implemented on a society wide scale. The Civil Rights movement is perhaps the most well-known social movement occurring in the 1960s. Its success led to the creation of many more social movements that used similar tactics to push their ideas. To understand a definition, there needs to be a breakdown of the words used to describe the term. The first phrase used is “groupings of individuals”. To put this in context of a social movement, this occurs when members of society come together…show more content…
As seen today, this movement was wildly successful with outcomes that have had a direct action on the country’s progress. The movement was so successful because of its differences from previous movements. The strategies, structures, and messages employed led to the creation of many movements after. Organizationally, the Civil Rights movement was very structured and politically integrated drawing upon pre-existing structures and resources to create new and visible methods of voicing their opinions. Staggenborg emphasizes the importance of movement infrastructure “consisting of leadership, indigenous resources, and local organizations” (Staggenborg, p. 64). Movement leaders were able to construct a very efficient organization that proved the method could work. Another difference between the Civil Rights movement and those prior to it were the tactics used. The Civil Rights movement targeted “vulnerable economic entities such as downtown businesses and other consumer related industries”. (Staggenborg, p. 63). Targets were chosen based on their vulnerability and their ability to be exploited to produce opportunities for the movement. The movement also used new peaceful protest methods such as sit-ins, marches, and simple space occupation. This targeting strategy proved to be effective and showed that correctly identifying targets of a movement had a great impact on the movement

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