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Demography and Social Movements

Authors Goldstone, Jack Andrew View this author's profile
Issue Date 2015
Source The Oxford Handbook of Social Movements , Edited by Donatella Della Porta, Mario Diani. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2015, p. 146-158
Summary Social movements respond to demography in two distinct ways. First, the people who comprise a social movement often have distinctive demographic features. In addition, the demographic profile of a society can shape the opportunities and motivations for social movement mobilization. Societies with very large youth cohorts tend to have more radical, and sometimes violent, movements; older societies tend to have more peaceful and moderate ones. Whether a society is rapidly urbanizing can determine the location and effectiveness of popular revolts. Finally, the particular age, religious, and ethnic cleavages in society, and how the proportion and characteristics of people in different identity groups changes over time, creates conflicts but also opportunities to resolve them. These principles are illustrated with the examples of the US civil rights and Tea Party movements, and the 2010–11 Arab revolts.
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 9780199678400
Language English
Format Book chapter
Access View full-text via DOI