Social Movements in Comparative Perspective

A group of picketers carrying protest signs.
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 1963. (Photograph by Abbie Rowe. Image courtesy of the National Park Service.)


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Spring 2005



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Course Description

This course seeks to provide students with a general understanding of the form of collective action known as the social movement. Our task will be guided by the close examination of several twentieth century social movements in the United States. We will read about the U.S. civil rights, the unemployed workers', welfare rights, pro-choice / pro-life and gay rights movements. We will compare and contrast certain of these movements with their counterparts in other countries. For all, we will identify the reasons for their successes and failures.

Melissa Nobles. 17.509 Social Movements in Comparative Perspective, Spring 2005. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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