Studienarbeit aus dem Jahr 2010 im Fachbereich Politik - Sonstige Themen, Note: 2,0, Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: Social movements are large informal groupings of individuals or organisations with a common interest, which focus on specific political or social issues to carry out a social change. They are distinguished from other collective actors by having (the threat of) mass mobilisation as their prime source of social sanction, and hence of power (Scott, 1990: 6). Even if they vary by size, 'they are all essentially collective' (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010). In contrast to individual strategies, individual needs and problems, social movements are the - more or less spontaneous - product of a defined conditions 'shared by many as a public issue necessitating joint action' (Oberschall, 1997: 2). Beginning with a collective behaviour, the result is a social movement when 'short-lived impulses give way to long-term aims' (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010). It takes measures to 'pursue a collective solution by pooling their efforts and resources and coordinating their actions' (Oberschall, 1997: 2). Whether a social movement success or fails is depending on how many people join and how determined they are. (Oberschall, 1997: 3). When we talk about social movements we have to pose several questions, for example under what circumstances an issue becomes a public controversy and attracts supporters. Another question is the part played by leaders, and what lasting consequences result that wouldn't have otherwise occurred. All in all social movements play a very important role in the society. They 'see themselves, and they are analyzed in contemporary political sociology, as involved in struggles over the definition of meanings and the construction of new identities and lifestyles, as well as addressing formal political institutions.' (Nash, 2010: 87). According to Charles Tilly, 'social movements create or activate paired and unequal categories, with an important twist: they deliberately emphasize the unjust treatment of people on the weaker side of the categorical line and/or the improper behaviour of people on the stronger side.' (Tilly, 1998: 212). Tilly argues that there are four key-elements to every social movement: First of all, a social movement contains a campaign, related to an electoral campaign; however, the supporters in this campaign are 'WUNC' that means worthy, unified, numerous and comitted.