Melucci on Social movement Essay Example

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Melucci on Social movement

Melucci on Social Movement Theories

Theories underlying the existence of social movements remain a fundamental force in the understanding of social movements. Several theories have helped explain how social movements developed. Such are the Resource mobilization theory and the social movement theory. These theories offer robust framework for understanding the intricate working of social groups and actions. Nonetheless, the works of scholars such as the Melucci provide a new perspective in the understanding of social work. In his work, Foweraker (1995) cites Melucci and point out concepts that help advance theories of social movement. Melucci points a connection between micro mobilization and social movement. He also notes that participation of the individual is a result of motivation of social networks and not an exclusive property of individual variable.

Melluci stands out as one of the significant contributors of social movement given his contribution to the social theory. Foweraker (1995) notes that Melucci believed that the root of social movement stem from the cognition individuals develops over time given their issues. Resource mobilization theory had failed to demonstrate whether individualism or collectivism were the main drivers of social movement. However, Melucci (1988) agrees with other scholars that individuals recognize a common need are most likely to join hands and constitute a social movement. Input from Melucci (1988) is critical in filling the gap between individual preferences and structural determinants. The bridging of the gap gives rise to a new definition of individuality with respect to social movement.

According to Melucci (1988), it is the recognition that individuals have similar issues that they group and work to accomplish a social goal. This concept has a fundamental in illustrating the direction of social work and policy formulation in Australia. The concept is necessary in describing why it is importance for social workers to realize that they have a commitment to drive a common goal. In Australian context, Melucci’s argument help promote the need for individuals by helping them create synergies with other members of society and push together as a social movement. This concept in relevant in locating the ultimate value of social work in uniting people into groups that focus on social work.

Melluci (1988) assert that social networks are the driving force behind social movement. Social networks enables individuals to pool resources as a group and strive to achieve a common goal. In social movement, member of the group rationalize their actions with to social networks. This is critical because Melucci (1988) advance that group redefine how members join and act within the group. While it may be thought that individuals participate in social movement, Melucci (1988) notes that its social group the provide motivation rather than an individual need to take part in the process. It is vital to note that isolation of individuals does not motivate them to join a social group. However, it is the social networks that appeal to rational actors who help advance the cause for the entire group.

The above concept affects social work in several ways. Firstly, the concept of social network has a huge effect on the alignment of social work and policy formulation in Australia. This is because it motivates the formation and strengthening of social groups that bring individuals with collective beliefs together. Rather than a group being without a catalyst for social movement, this concepts buttress the need for social movement to create groups with that help members focus on their goal—fighting against social ills or promoting a social cause. Most important, it does situate the need to assess the commitment of individuals to the success of the team. In terms of policy development, the concept necessitates social groups to refine how individual commit to the goals of a social group. This concept illustrates that ideal social movement make use of networks to capture members willing and able to advance their cause.


Foweraker, J. (1995). Theorizing social movement. London: Pluto Press.