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The University of Southampton

SOCI3074 Collective Action and Social Change

Module Overview

In this module you will be able to examine a variety of organisations involved in social change, such as governmental and non-governmental organisations, voluntary organisations, social movement organisations and charitable organisations. You will be helped to understand how these movements and organisations are located in their historical and spatial context, why people join such organisations, how they are financed and hat effects they have. The SOCI3075 module will be taken in association with the co-requisite SOCI3074 module. The intention, as with other existing project modules, is to enable you to research in some depth, and on a group basis, a specific issue or topic within the area covered by the co-requisite module. This reflects the underlying philosophy of creating a shift at successive levels of the Sociology and Social Policy degree programmes towards a more active learning stance on the part of the student, with a growing focus on active and independent enquiry on both an individual and group basis. The final semester group project is an intrinsic part of this overall approach, and allows assessment of work produced on a group basis and delivered through formal presentation, thus linking to the generic skills learning outcomes of oral communication and presentations and group working listed in the specifications for the relevant programmes. The inclusion of a reflective account, in which you will record and reflect upon your experience of working in the group, and the lessons you have learned from it relates directly to the learning outcome of reflection on your own learning.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Knowledge and understanding of different types of social change organisations organizations.
  • Produce a sustained argument using diverse data.
  • Take responsibility for representing particular arguments/evidence.
  • Develop collaborative study and research abilities.
  • Articulate views and arguments in sustained seminar discussions.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the impact of non-profit organisations on various levels (personal, social, political).
  • Knowledge and understanding of different organisational structures and strategies.
  • Knowledge and understanding of resource-management such as recruitment and fund-raising.
  • Engage critically with competing sociological theories about the emergence, organisation and impact of social change organisations (social movement organisations, non-profit organisations, third sector organisations, non-governmental organisations).
  • Evaluate wider sociological claims through the applied study of particular fields of practice.
  • Integrate insights from social movement theory with those from other relevant sub-disciplines within Sociology.
  • Produce succinct summary overviews of complex material.
  • Analyse and evaluate competing perspectives on a topic.


Topics to be covered within the SOCI3074 module will include: The national and international context of social change organizations Social movements: beliefs, structures and strategies Causes and membership of social movement organizations The charitable organizations and the welfare state The women’s movement The environmental movement Humanitarian relief operations Population control and development International organizations and the anti-globalization movement Given the project-based nature of the SOCI3075 module, it is not possible to specify curricular content in detail. Exemplars of the type of project which might be undertaken include Studies of local, national or international non-profit organizations with respect to fundraising, recruitment, activities and impact (for example Cancer Research, Amnesty International, Salvation Army, Southampton Centre for Independent Living) Studies of labour unions, business organizations, political parties, churches Studies of local government dealing with non-profit organizations Studies of alternative enterprises (for example fair trade shop, charity shops such as Oxfam).

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

David A Snow, Sarah A Soule, Hanspeter Kriesi (eds) (2007). The lackwell Companion to Social Movements. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Blog and feedback contributions  (2400 words) 30%
Coursework  (2000 words) 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (2400 words) 30%
Coursework  (2000 words) 70%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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