Social and Political Theory of Social Movements for the Social State

Open access

Abstract

Social movements, as collective entities, develop to stand up against the existing institutional status quo with a view to its reformation or radical transformation, while the degree to which they are political depends on wider socio-political factors. The diverse action that evolved through their organized mobilization marked the radical transformation of political response, but also the type of state intervention. Social movements exactly because they constitute wider socio-political undertakings that aim to bring about changes in the social, political, economic but also cultural processes, which seek to annul or sideline established standardizations, are considered one of the most readily available ways to express political and social claims; here they are understood to be dynamic interventions in institutionally and structurally complete social systems as in the case of the social state. Within the context of political mobilization and collective social action, social movements functioned at two interrelated levels: the level of expansion, but also of redefinition of social intervention processes in order to achieve the goals of the social state, and the cultural level, a symbolic promotion, in order to establish a greater degree of social justice. Mobilization of resources, collective behaviour for making claims, even contentious action and transaction with institutions and authorities, constitute views of social transformation and political process in the context of the creation and development of the social state.

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