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Four Stages of Social Movements -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Christiansen, Jonathan;

2009 / EBSCO

Description

An explanation of what defines a social movement is followed by a description of the development and theory of the model of the four stages of social movements. The four stages of social movement development are emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. The Decline stage can result from several different causes, such as repression, co-optation, success, failure, and mainstream. The four stages of development model can be applied to understand how movements form, grow, and dissipate. It has limitations, however, in its application to new social movements and movements that are not rooted in political action. Despite these limitations, the four stages model is still highly useful in understanding collective action and provides a useful frame of analysis for sociologists considering social movements and their effects in the past and present.