Social Movements NCERT Textbook PDF

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Social Movements

Chapter 8: Social Movements

People may damage a bus and attack its driver when the bus has run over a child. This is an isolated incident of protest.

Since it flares up and dies down it is not a social movement. A social movement requires sustained collective action over time.

Such action is often directed against the state and takes the form of demanding changes in state policy or practice.

Spontaneous, disorganized protest cannot be called a social movement either. Collective action must be marked by some degree of organization.

This organization may include leadership and a structure that defines how members relate to each other, make decisions and carry them out.

Those participating in a social movement also have shared objectives and ideologies. A social movement has a general orientation or way of approaching bringing about (or preventing) change.

These defining features are not constant. They may change over the course of a social movement’s life.

Social movements often arise with the aim of bringing about changes on a public issue, such as ensuring the right of the tribal population to use the forests or the right of displaced people to settlement and compensation. Think of other issues that social movements have taken up in the past and present.

While social movements seek to bring in social change, counter-movements sometimes arise in defense of the status quo.

There are many instances of such countermovements. When Raja Rammohun Roy campaigned against sati and formed the Brahmo Samaj, defenders of sati formed Dharma Sabha and petitioned the British not to legislate against sati.

When reformers demanded education for girls, many protested that this would be disastrous for society.

When reformers campaigned for widow remarriage, they were socially boycotted. When the so called ‘lower caste’ children enrolled in schools, some so called ‘upper caste’ children were withdrawn from the schools by their families.

Peasant movements have often been brutally suppressed. More recently the social movements of erstwhile excluded groups like the Dalits have often invoked retaliatory action.

Likewise, proposals for extending reservations in educational institutions have led to counter movements opposing them.

Social movements cannot change society easily. Since it goes against both entrenched interests and values, there is bound to be opposition and resistance. But over a period of time changes do take place.

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NCERT Solutions Class 12 Sociology Chapter 8 Social Movements

1. Write short notes on:
Ans. (i) Women’s Movement: Early 20th Century saw the growth of women’s organisations
such as ‘Women’s India Association (WLA) (1917)’ All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) (1926), ‘National Council for Women in India (NEWI) (1925)’. While many of them began with a limited focus, their scope extended over time.

It is often assumed that only middle-class educated women were involved in social movements.
But part of the struggle is to remember the forgotten history of women’s participation.

Women participated along with men in struggles and revolt that originated in tribal and rural areas in the colonial period.

Thus, not only urban women but also rural and tribal women participated in political agitations struggles, gradually empowering themselves. The mid-1970s saw the second phase of Indian women’s movement.

There was the growth of autonomous women’s movement, i.e., < They were independent of political parties as well as women’s organizations that had links with political parties.
Educated women took radical active politics.

Simultaneously promoted an analysis of the women’s movement. New issues were now being focused upon such as violence against women, application for school forms had both father’s and mother’s name: and legal changes such as land rights, employment, rights against sexual harassment, and dowry.

Mathura rape case (1978), Maya Tyagi rape case (1980) Both were custodial rape.

Hence, it was also recognised that in women’s movements, there is bound to be disparity because women belong to different classes and thus their needs and concerns are bound to be different.

(ii) Tribal Movements: Most of the tribal movements have been largely located in the so-called “tribal belt” in middle India, such as the Santhals, Hos Oraons, and Mundas in Chota Nagpur, and the Santhal Parganas.

The social movement of Jharkhand had a charismatic leader in Birsa Munda, an Adivasi who led a major uprising against the British.

His memory has still been kept alive and has continued to be a source of inspiration for generations.

An educated middle class among the tribals was created by the Western education given by Christian missionaries. This education class developed ethnic consciousness – awareness of their identity culture and customs.

A sense of marginalization brought together the tribal population of South Bihar. They identified their common enemies – dikus—migrant traders, money lenders.

The adivasis in senior government jobs provided organisational intellectual leadership to the movement and negotiated and labbied for the creation of their own state on the following issues—acquisition of land for large irrigation projects; survey and settlement operations, which were held up, camps closed, etc; a collection of loans, rent, and cooperative dues; nationalisation of forest produce.

As far as the NE tribes were concerned, main issue taken up were – ascertain distinct tribal identity of the region; demanding of the traditional autonomy of tribes; misunderstanding & lack of communication in Indian mainstream society which needs to be bridged;

•Rights of the tribes to maintain their own social-cultural institutions along with a connection with the rest of India;
•Anger tribes because of the loss of their forest lands.

Thus, tribal movements are good examples of social movements, which incorporate many issues – economic, cultural, and ecological.

Earlier many tribal regions of NE showed tendencies of separating from India but today they have adopted a balanced approach of asking for autonomy within the framework of Indian institutions.

2.In India, it is difficult to make a .clear distinction between the old and new social movements. Discuss.
Ans. Old Social Movements
• Class-based – united to fight for rights.
•Anti-colonial movements.
• Nationalist movement united people into national e.g., liberation struggle.
•Movement against colonialism.

•Nationalist movement mobilized against the rule of foreign power and dominance of foreign capital.
•Mainly concerned with struggles between haves and have-nots. Key issue is reorganisation of power relations, i.e. capturing power & transferring it from powerful to powerless, e.g. Workers were mobilised towards capitalists; Women’s struggle against male domination.

•Worked under guidance & organisational framework of political parties, eg. Indian National Congress led the Indian National movement; Communist Party of China led the Chinese Revolution.

•Role of political parties was central and poor people had no other effective means to get their voices heard.
•Concerned about social inequality and unequal distribution of resources -important elements.

New Social Movements

•Decades after Second World War- 1960s and early 1970s
•Take up not just narrow class issues but broad, universal themes, which involved a broad social group irrespective of their class.
•Vietnam were forces led by US bloody conflict.

•Paris – Vibrant student movement joined worker’s parties in a series of strikes
protesting against the war.
•USA was experiencing a sure of social protests. The civil rights movement was led by Martin Luther King.
•Black powers movement led by Malcolm X.
•Women’s movement, the environmental movement.
•No longer focus on redistribution of power rather are more concerned with improving the quality of life. eg. Right to education, a clean environment.

•No longer confine themselves within political parties. Instead started joining civil society movements and forming NGOs because they are supposed to be more efficient, less corrupt, and less autocratic

•Globalization – reshaping people’s lines, culture, media Firms – transnational. Legal arrangements – international.
Therefore, many new social movements are international in scope.
•Essential elements – Identity politics, cultural anxieties and aspirations.

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