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Social Movements and Political Action (SO336)

Whether we personally take part or not, social movements have played a central role in our lives.

Without social movements, many injustices of the past and present would remain unaddressed: from overturning feudal serfdom, to abolishing the legal slave trade, to the extension of the franchise for men and women, to labour rights, to overcoming state-sanctioned apartheids, to post-colonial nationalism, to putting civil rights on the agenda, to the recognition of women’s rights, to addressing environmental destruction, to the popularisation of fairer international trade, to human rights and LGBTQI rights. Whether a march, sit-in, protest camp, squat, street battle, armed insurrection, coup or revolution; global history – and particularly modern history – is a story of social movements and political action.

This module focuses on the evolution and role of contemporary social movements in society.
Each week we will focus on one movement as a case study, using such examples to reveal different aspects of political action outside of the state. Rather than focusing on the subdisciplines of social movement theory or social movement studies, however, we will be looking more at the findings and philosophy of critical researchers who are actively involved in with such movements.

Warwick is an active university and the Sociology department is an active department. We will therefore be using, where possible, research from within the department as a route into work on wider movements and ideas. This makes the module particularly useful when thinking ahead to your dissertations and considering potential supervisors within the department.


Module Director

Teodora Todorova


This module is worth 15 CATS.