Grassroots Social Movements and the Shaping of History

Jennifer Eschweiler, Jon Van Til, Gabor Hegyesi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


Social movements that originate in the grassroots of society often contain the potential to shape history. The movements of the 1960s reshaped politics and society in the United States, Western Europe, and beyond, and their impact resonates even today in themes of civil rights, women’s advances, and the rights of those in a variety of gender-based categories. A variety of earlier movements gave voice to the interests of the poor and neglected in the form of a variety of labor, farmer, populist, religious, temperance, and anti-slavery movements throughout the United States and other nations (Heberle, 1951; Smelser, 1962; Toch, 1965). And in Europe, the profound revolutions in France (1789, 1840) and Russia (1917) were literally days that “changed the world” (Reed, 1919).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Community Movements and Local Organizations
EditorsRam A. Cnaan, Carl Milofsky
Place of PublicationBoston
PublisherSpringer Link
Publication date2007
ISBN (Print)978-0-387-75729-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-387-32933-8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
SeriesHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research


  • social movements

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