SOC-20056 - Social Movements
Coordinator: Siobhan Holohan Room: CBC0.025 Tel: +44 1782 7 34230
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

This module introduces students to the history, theories and practices of social movements in a local, national and global context. Referring to a variety of case studies, we explore: why social movements emerge; what social movements are trying to achieve; the public sphere response to campaigning and protest; and the extent to which social movements realise social change. Alongside an examination of the development and scope of social movements, the module also explores the culture of protest. Here, we consider how protest is performed through cultural forms such as art, literature and social media, and unpack how these counter-narratives infiltrate public consciousness.

- to introduce students to the history, theories and practices relating to local, national and global social movements;
- to encourage a critical sociological understanding of how social movements and protest might contribute to social change;
- to assess the complex relationships between the State and social movements that seek to resist or oppose power relations.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

recognise and define the principal characteristics of social movements: 1,2
define and utilise the theories and concepts essential for the analysis of social movements: 1,2
assess State and dominant public sphere response to social movements and protest: 1,2
critically evaluate theories of social change in relation to the everyday practices of social movements: 1,2
provide an account of one historical or contemporary social movement referring to relevant sociological theories: 1,2
outline how social movements can be categorised into a variety of different types and structures: 1,2

Study hours

10 hours lectures
10 hours tutorials
40 hours tutorial preparation
45 hours poster preparation
45 hours short answer paper preparation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Poster Presentation weighted 50%
Poster of a social movement
A critical exploration of one social movement or campaign presented in poster format. The poster will: refer to relevant theories to demonstrate why the chosen example can be defined as a social movement; provide an examination of its culture and organisation; and reveal how it is/was constructed in public discourse. The poster should be approximately 1000 words, and include images that support the discussion. The poster will be presented across 4 pages, plus one page of references (not included in the word count). The poster can be formatted as either a Word or PowerPoint document.

2: Short Paper weighted 50%
Short answer questions
Students will answer 2 questions from a list relating to lecture topics. Each answer should be between a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 750 words.