Do theories of new social movements indeed challenge the mainstream concept of society and
[Using a theoretical orientation of your choice, comment on the following characteristic of the new social
movements by Piotr Sztompka:
“They focus on new issues, new interests, new fronts of social conflict. In reaction to the invasion by
politics, economics, technology, economics, technology and bureaucracy of all domains of human
existence, their main concern is with quality of life, group identity, expanded life-space, the championing
of ‘civil society’, and in general with post-material, non-economic, ‘soft’ values. Their constituencies are
not correlated with any specific classes but rather cut across traditional class divisions, representing issues
of vital concern to members of different classes. New social movements are usually decentralized, taking
the form of extended and relatively loose networks rather than hierarchical, rigid organizations.”
(Sztompka, P. 1993. The Sociology of Social Change. Oxford UK and Cambridge USA: Blackwell, p.
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