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Word Count: 657
The definition of social movements cannot easily be summarized into one concise sentence A social movement is an attempt to intentionally intervene in the process of social change A social movement is a creation of modern society A social movement is a collection of people engaging in practices and discourses designed to challenge and change society as they define it A social movement takes on and challenges the authority of the ruling political system As you can see social movements involve various different aspects that can be somewhat summarized by stating that they seek to change society in one aspect or another The most active period of social movement in the 20th century were the 1960s This period roughly begins with a build-up from the Brown v Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court Decision of 1954 This desegregation decision began the Civil Rights movement By 1960 multiple movements are gathering steam in the United States After 1970 and the Kent State killings social movements began to decline and by the fall of Saigon that ended the Vietnam War in 1975 the most active period was over Of course movements continue to our day just as there have always been some active reform movements in America But the most active period was over There were various reasons for the social movements that occurred in the 60s Despite the ending of slavery in 1865 American culture- particularly in the South- had reestablished a cultural system based on racial superiority In 1960 one in five Americans lived in conditions described by the federal government as poverty In the midst of the Cold War large amounts of resources went into building military power Materialism in the United States only helped to fuel the cries for social movements The children of the American middle and even upper classes were eager participants and often the leaders of these movements They found that the material satisfactions of their wealthy
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