Karl Marx said, the task is not just to understand the world but to change it. A variant to keep in mind is that if you want to change the world you'd better try to understand it. That doesn't mean listening to a talk or reading a book, though that's helpful sometimes. You learn from participating. You learn from others. You learn from the people you're trying to organize. We all have to gain the understanding and the experience to formulate and implement ideas.

(Noam Chomsky speaking at an Occupy Boston event on Oct. 22nd as part of the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series)

What is a social movement?

We can identify as distinctive and/or worthy of scholarly inquiry, Western rhetorics of social change as primarily uninstitutionalized, distinctly non-normative collectivities born of shared feelings of disempowerment that attempt to shift consciousness, often in hopes is affecting material artifacts and behaviors.


Welcome to Wiki-World! A Wiki is a tool/forum for collaboration and discussion, a place to upload files, and a space for multi-media composition. On this wiki, you will find weekly readings and, as the class progresses, a database of articles and resources that emerge during your individual research programs. By the end of the course this wiki should serve as our interactive resource for all things related to Movement Studies.

If you are unfamiliar with Wikis as a collaborative resource, here's an easy tutorial.

Wiki Tutorial:

How to create/edit a page

Also, if you have questions about specific wiki actions--embedding a link/video, for instance--you can also refer to the "help" tab at the top of our wiki. It offers you many types of assistance--videos, blog posts on specific topics, and in-house instructions. If you are having a serious problem, like your wikipage seems to have disappeared, you can also contact wikispaces directly and you will receive an email back within 24 hours.