Globalization, Local Social Movements, and Social Transformations

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 17:45
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Ulrike M.M. SCHUERKENS, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France
Civil society groups have become major forces of change in a world that never stops changing and is characterized by high levels of economic and social inequality. They operate all over the world to advance processes they defend and seek to resist co-optations by existing political interests and structures. One way to do so is to refuse to play politics as usual. To participate in movements has become so widespread as to have a period effect of social change. Social movements have begun to act as change agents or may resist changes in given institutions. Biographies are altered by participations in movements; alternative lifestyle options may be adopted. Movements change public opinions by inserting parts of their diagnostic frames in popular discourses. They help create or alter policy because of their effects on state administrations and public institutions such as universities and churches. This paper will explain the role of global connections in social changes initiated by civil society movements that arise from the contradictions and conflicts of specific local societies. Finally, the paper will evaluate the role of social movements in transformation processes planned by states and global institutions, such as the UN.