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The “Black Lives Matter” movement is definitely best described by the New Social Movements theory, “a theory of social movements that attempts to explain the plethora of new movements that have come up in various western societies roughly since the mid-1960s (i.e. in a post-industrial economy), which are claimed to depart significantly from the conventional social movement paradigm” (Boundless, 2016)
Unlike other social movements that are fighting for economic gains or otherwise, the Black Lives Matter movement is fighting for human rights, which is a defining factor to the New Social Movements theory that “states that people join social movements because they concerned about quality-of-life issues, not economic issues.” (Module 8 Lecture, 2) I was not very familiar with the details of the movement, but after reading about it more and from what I do know about the movement, I stand behind what they are fighting for. I think the protestors want and are demanding social action to protect and support black lives and specifically “to begin moving towards addressing the systemic racialized police practices that devalue and threaten black lives” among other issues. (Statement on Ferguson, 2014) They want to see a change in the world where they are free to live their lives and grow communities and families without feeling like the entire social system is against them or pushing them down.
I believe a protest is an effective form of achieving social change because it is taking action to show others that enough people believe in the same thing. It is being active and it is making an effort to see a difference in the world instead of looking on and hoping something will change. It is bringing light and awareness to a situation and constantly moving it into the public eye. The hope is that support will grow for the cause, and I strongly believe that there is strength in numbers.
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