Social Movements: The Environmental Movement

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David E. Wilkins once said, “A critical element in nearly all effective social movements is leadership. For it is through smart, persistent, and authoritative leaders that a movement generates the appropriate concepts and language that captures the frustrations, anger, or fear of the group’s members, and places responsibility where it is warranted.” Social movements are defined to be basic avenues by which social change takes place in societies, often the carries of innovation that shape attitudes, define public issues, and affect social policy in a variety of ways. The theory is that in order for a movement to be recognized and supported by a large population of the public the campaign must be prepared to compete for the support of people in a multi-organizational field. Many activists who are part of social movements maintain relationships with likeminded people, doing so allows them to recruit through their expanded networks. There have been many campaigns for numerous causes in the past, such as the Agrarian Populism Movement, the Labor Movement and the Progressive Movement. However one movement that has remained successful and consistent is the Environmental Movement in the United States. Holding its title to being the longest running social movement, the Environmental Movement has been able to precede other established modern movements because of its historical development, diverse support system, and economic resources. The Environmental Movement was established about 150 years ago, back in the late 19th century, and since then the organization has developed into a significant crusade. They began with the early conservation movement focusing on wildlife, the water system and soil conservation. Since then they have broadened... ... middle of paper ... some way so that the movement can continue despite social changes. The Environmental Movement is an impeccable representation of what all social movements should be. They have been able to maintain their position throughout 150 years and in those years America has developed extraordinary and they have managed to modify to fit modern times. Their support system varies not only in racial background, but as well in class and economic background. The campaign’s success can be measured in the steps the take to accommodate society and in their ability to promote a tremendous amount of groups. Future social movements should take notes on what the Environmental Movement has managed to accomplish that others haven’t if they want to ensure their success. Works Cited Robbins, Richard H. Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. 6th ed. N.p.: Pearson, 2013. Print.
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