social movements + innovation lab


There are four frameworks that are necessary for a sustainable social movement. For a social movement to successfully begin, there must be a political opportunity that pushes a critical mass of people to mobilize and push for change, diffuse social networks with a mobilizing structure that promotes solidarity among the critical mass of people, cultural frames that create meaning for the people, and repertoires of contention to provide escalating actions against the opposition.

Recommended Resources

Tarrow, Sidney. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics. 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 1998. Chapters 1 and 5.

Social Justice Activists & Academics

Social Justice Activists Social justice activists must think innovatively in order to create new and disruptive tactics that sustain the social movement in which they work. They can look at how other movements have and have not followed the social movement framework to inform their own social justice work.
Academics When teaching this curriculum, students learn the importance of each social movement framework and how the connection between each framework is necessary to sustain a social movement. When students combine this knowledge with the histories of different social movements, students are able to analyze why certain social movements have and have not been successful.