What is Social Movement

Social movement is the expression of civil society organization, formed by collective actions where individuals aim to achieve social changes through political debate within a given context in society .

This type of expression is characteristic of a plural society, as it acts collectively to represent a resistance movement that fights for different forms of social inclusion.

Groups such as popular movements, unions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are examples of the collective forms of organization of social movements.

Groups active within a social movement are always looking for political representation of these forms of social exclusion and their actions are always aimed at producing direct or indirect pressure on the State.

Characteristics of the social movement

For the formation of the social movement, these groups are organized according to a common project and ideology , which encompasses all the proposals and objectives relevant to the movement.

Within them , a hierarchy can still be established , which can have a structure that allows several leaders.

And in this way, various forms of collective actions are used, such as denunciation, marches, strikes, marches, among others.

In these actions, the groups present the demands that a given social class faces in order to boost social mobilization and raise awareness in the conscience of other individuals in society for their causes.

The social movement, when well articulated, is capable of altering the structure of the state power system and for this reason, the relations of social movements and their leaders are always in conflict with the state.

See also the meaning of Ideology and Hierarchy .

Social movements in Brazil

Social movements in Brazil had greater prominence from the 60’s, where a large part of the movements of that time were against the military regime.

The most prominent collective actions are the Landless Workers Movement (MST), the Homeless Workers Movement (MSTS), in addition to movements in defense of Indians, blacks and women.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in movements to support LGBT causes and Brazilian environmental defenses.

Social support issues also increased significantly, such as demonstrations calling for readjustments in bus fare and free passes.

See more about the free pass .

Types of social movements

Social movements can be classified into:

  • Claiming movements, where their actions focus on demands for immediate issues. This type of movement uses public pressure to pressure institutions that can modify legal provisions that may favor the situation;
  • Political movements, where they seek to influence the population in direct political participation as a guarantee for structural changes in society;
  • Class movements, which seek to subvert the social order and change the relationships between different factors in the national context.


Leave a Comment