ERIC Number: ED327428
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a "Steady State" Theory of Social Movements. Debut Paper.
Scott, David K.
In this paper, the Nation of Islam, an Afro-American group headed by Louis Farrakhan, is analysed in terms of the characteristics that constitute a social movement and discussed in terms of social theories that have been developed to explain the functions and effects of rhetoric in social movements. Leland Griffin, who put forth the "life-cycle" theory, has been acknowledged as the founder of social movement study. However, his theory does not adequately explain movements that do not evolve over time. The Nation of Islam movement, in the context of a "steady state" theory, defies Griffin's model in that it does not evolve at all. Generally, social movements seek to change social, political, religious, or economic norms and values. The Nation of Islam does not represent a part of the established order, but maintains a philosophy of remaining separate from the establishment. The group's leader is analyzed in relation to other black leaders, the history of the movement is discussed, and the beliefs of those who join it are reviewed. (NL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Farrakhan (Louis); Griffin (Leland); Nation of Islam
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Communication Association (Detroit, MI, April 5-8, 1990).