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Social Change and Social Change Movements


Module Contents

Social Development and Social Change
Social Change Movements
Frameworks for Social Change Movements
The Animal Welfare Movement
Further Resources



Advocacy seeks to achieve social change (through policy and attitudinal change), so it is vital to understand how this happens. Without this background, it is difficult to design effective advocacy strategies to ensure that the changes we want are introduced as quickly as possible, and in a way that brings lasting change.

This module looks at the ways in which societies change for the better, and the role of social change movements and advocacy in bringing about such change. It will include best practice theories and examples from leading social change movements, and analysis of the animal welfare movement and its progress in changing societies. This will include:

  • How social change happens
  • The development of social change movements
  • What is the stage of development of the animal welfare movement and what more is needed to gain 'critical-mass'?
  • What is advocacy, and why is it important?

This module is centered on sociological theories, which need to be considered deeply in relation to advocacy work. Do not try to rush ahead to strategic advocacy, but concentrate on social change theory, and reflect on how this relates to positive change for animal welfare. Remember that social change is about creating a fire that spreads, and is fanned by civil society and inspiring individuals.

Learning Objectives: 

  • A broad understanding of social development and key social development principles.
  • An understanding of how social change can be achieved; and the role of civil society, individuals and pioneers in this process.
  • An understanding of the role, development and different approaches of social change movements.
  • Greater clarity and understanding of what it takes to achieve social change, backed up by examples from inspiring social change movements.
  • Analysis of the animal welfare movement against this background, and an understanding of what is needed to achieve successful social change for our cause.
  • An understanding of the role and importance of advocacy in achieving enduring change in the status and welfare of animals. 

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