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Word Count: 1,075
A social movement is simply defined as a non-institutional body or group which takes up a given cause or issue of a political nature Whilst social movements have been around for a long time new social movements or NSMs have risen or returned due to more recent changes in British society and politics However there are more discerning features which separate NSMs from OSMs While OSMs tend to represent working class alliances such as trade unions focus more on economic change and tend to be class based organisations NSMs are more concerned with moral and cultural issues and are held to pose new challenges to the established cultural economic and political orders of advanced capitalist societies Hallsworth 1994 A number of variables have been key in provoking the return of new social movements Firstly a change in societys attitude has been apparent People have genuinely started to feel as though they are able to affect a change Unlike political parties it is much easier to get involved in a NSM and to actually feel like one is getting somewhere This change in attitude could be due to the nature of post-capitalism This concept sees a well-off society becoming less interested in material things due to a good quality of life In a society like this Habermas 1979 noted that priorities have changed Indeed economic issues are of less importance to a NSM than moral or cultural issues for example Touraine 1982 also noted this change in priorities he decided it was due to a post-industrial society where production and consumption of knowledge have been of higher importance causing a rain-check on cultural values especially in the more educated young and middle class In view of this argument another question needs to be asked Why havent the public simply left these issues up to the government Well the answer is many sections of the public feel disillusioned with the choice offered by political
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