Skip to main content

Social Movements and Mobilization (454-0-20)


Wendy R Pearlman
Scott Hall #204
Office Hours:

Meeting Info

Scott Hall 212: Tues 9:00AM - 11:50AM

Overview of class

This graduate-level seminar will explore the conditions and processes shaping social and political mobilization. We will examine major theories from the fields of sociology and political science about social movements: collective challenges to authority that aim to change society or institute structural changes in an existing state or states. We will consider competing explanations of the emergence of collective action, the conditions under which people do or do not rebel, various aspects of the strategic interaction between social movements and states, the sources of movement strategy, and the determinants of movement outcomes. We will read theoretical works and case studies on a range of social movements in both democratic and nondemocratic state settings. This examination of major analytical debates, as well as varied empirical material, aim to give students a solid foundation on which to build their own research projects.

Learning Objectives

(1) To acquire advanced knowledge and nuanced understanding of the field of social movement studies; (2) To engage in critical analysis and thoughtful discussion of a range of scholarly texts, (3)To gain practice in doing original research that connects theory and evidence; and (4) To practice offering constructive feedback on colleagues' work.

Teaching Method

DIscussion-based seminar

Evaluation Method

Attendance, preparation of readings, & class participation: 30% Weekly question and paper abstract: 9% Peer critique paper: 16% Final paper: 45%

Class Materials (Required)

Doug McAdam, Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970. University of Chicago Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780226555539.

Class Notes

Reserved for graduate students

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for Graduate Students.