Social revolution

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Social revolutions are sudden changes in the structure and nature of society. [1] These revolutions are usually recognized as having transformed in society, culture, philosophy, and technology much more than political systems. [2]

Social structure sociological classification of human societies according to their social characteristics, especially its social stratification; patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals

In the social sciences, social structure is the patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals. On the macro scale, social structure is the system of socioeconomic stratification, social institutions, or, other patterned relations between large social groups. On the meso scale, it is the structure of social network ties between individuals or organizations. On the micro scale, it can be the way norms shape the behavior of individuals within the social system.

Society group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same territory, subject to the same authority and culture

A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

Revolution fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time

In political science, a revolution is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due to perceived oppression. In book V of the Politics, the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle described two types of political revolution:

  1. Complete change from one constitution to another
  2. Modification of an existing constitution.


Theda Skocpol in her article "France, Russia, China: A Structural Analysis of Social Revolutions" states that social revolution is a "combination of thoroughgoing structural transformation and massive class upheavals". [3] She comes to this definition by combining Samuel P. Huntington's definition that it "is a rapid, fundamental, and violent domestic change in the dominant values and myths of society, in its political institutions, social structure, leadership, and government activities and policies" [4] and Vladimir Lenin's, which is that revolutions are "the festivals of the oppressed...[who act] as creators of a new social order". [5] She also states that this definition excludes many revolutions, because they fail to meet either or both of the two parts of this definition. [6]

Theda Skocpol American sociologist

Theda Skocpol is an American sociologist and political scientist, who is currently the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. An influential figure in both disciplines, Skocpol is best known as an advocate of the historical-institutional and comparative approaches, as well as her "state autonomy theory." She has written widely for both popular and academic audiences.

Samuel P. Huntington American political scientist

Samuel Phillips Huntington was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a century at Harvard University, where he was director of Harvard's Center for International Affairs and the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor. During the presidency of Jimmy Carter, Huntington was the White House Coordinator of Security Planning for the National Security Council. He is best known for his 1993 theory, the "Clash of Civilizations", of a post-Cold War new world order. He argued that future wars would be fought not between countries, but between cultures, and that Islamic extremism would become the biggest threat to world peace. Huntington is credited with helping to shape U.S. views on civilian-military relations, political development, and comparative government.

Vladimir Lenin Russian politician, communist theorist and first leader of Soviet Russia

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism known as Leninism.

Academics have identified certain factors that have mitigated the rise of revolutions. Many historians have held that the rise and spread of Methodism in Great Britain prevented the development of a revolution there. [7] In addition to preaching the Christian Gospel, John Wesley and his Methodist followers visited those imprisoned, as well as the poor and aged, building hospitals and dispensaries which provided free healthcare for the masses. [8] The sociologist William H. Swatos stated that "Methodist enthusiasm transformed men, summoning them to assert rational control over their own lives, while providing in its system of mutual discipline the psychological security necessary for autonomous conscience and liberal ideals to become internalized, an integrated part of the 'new men' ... regenerated by Wesleyan preaching." [9] The practice of temperance among Methodists, as well as their rejection of gambling, allowed them to eliminate secondary poverty and accumulate capital. [9] Individuals who attended Methodist chapels and Sunday schools "took into industrial and political life the qualities and talents they had developed within Methodism and used them on behalf of the working classes in non-revolutionary ways." [10] The spread of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, author and professor Michael Hill states, "filled both a social and an ideological vacuum" in English society, thus "opening up the channels of social and ideological mobility ... which worked against the polarization of English society into rigid social classes." [9] The historian Bernard Semmel argues that "Methodism was an antirevolutionary movement that succeeded (to the extent that it did) because it was a revolution of a radically different kind" that was capable of effecting social change on a large scale. [9]

Methodism group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity

Methodism, also known as the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were also significant early leaders in the movement. It originated as a revival movement within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate denomination after Wesley's death. The movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond because of vigorous missionary work, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide.

John Wesley Christian theologian

John Wesley was an English cleric, theologian and evangelist who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. After Wesley's death, the societies he founded became the dominant form of the independent Methodist movement.

Dispensary organization that dispenses medications, medical supplies, and in some cases even medical treatment

A dispensary is an office in a school, hospital, industrial plant, or other organization that dispenses medications, medical supplies, and in some cases even medical and dental treatment. In a traditional dispensary set-up, a pharmacist dispenses medication as per prescription or order form. The English term originated from the medieval Latin noun dispensaria and is cognate with the Latin verb dispensare, "to distribute".

See also

The Rwandan Revolution, also known as the Social Revolution or Wind of Destruction, was a period of ethnic violence in Rwanda from 1959 to 1961 between the Hutu and the Tutsi, two of the three ethnic groups in Rwanda. The revolution saw the country transition from a Belgian colony with a Tutsi monarchy to an independent Hutu-dominated republic.

The Social Revolution festival is the first architecture festival in Yaroslavl, Russia. The main theme and the motto of the festival is: "Answers of architects to the questions of the city". The festival was held twice, first from 1 to 11 May 2012 and again from 3 to 17 June 2013.

<i>Sociology of Revolution</i> (book)

Sociology of Revolution is a book by Russian American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin. Sociology of revolution as branch of sociology was developed by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan. to a certain extent earlier than Sorokin. Hobbes lived and created in the period of English Revolution. In the opinion by Hobbes, "the war of all against all" begins in the period of revolution and of Civil War, when all men threaten by each man, when each man has the right to all things by right of strong man, when "Man Is Wolf to Man" Sorokin had generalized the data about the new revolutions, unknowns for Hobbes – French Revolution, Russian Revolution (1917), etc.

Related Research Articles

Anarchism and violence have become closely connected in popular thought, in part because of a concept of "propaganda of the deed". Propaganda of the deed, or attentát, was espoused by leading anarchists in the late nineteenth century, and was associated with a number of incidents of violence. Anarchist thought, however, is quite diverse on the question of violence. In the name of coherence some anarchists have opposed coercion, while others have supported it, particularly in the form of violent revolution on the path to anarchy. Anarchism includes a school of thought which rejects all violence (anarcho-pacifism).

Methodist Episcopal Church religious organization in the United States

The Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) was the oldest and largest Methodist denomination in the United States from its founding in 1784 until 1939. It was also the first religious denomination in the US to organize itself on a national basis. In 1939, the MEC reunited with two breakaway Methodist denominations to form the Methodist Church. In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church.

Rebellion act of rebelling; aim: resistance, generally seeks to evade an oppressive power; refusal of obedience or order; open resistance against the orders of an established authority; defiance of authority or control

Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority. The term comes from the Latin verb rebellō, "I renew war" (from re- + bellō. The rebel is the individual that partakes in rebellion or rebellious activities, particularly when armed. Thus, the term rebellion also refers to the ensemble of rebels in a state of revolt.

Primitive Methodism in the United Kingdom

Primitive Methodism was a major movement in English Methodism from about 1810 until the Methodist Union in 1932. The denomination emerged from a revival at Mow Cop in Staffordshire. "Primitive" meant "simple" or "relating to an original stage"; the Primitive Methodists saw themselves as practising a purer form of Christianity, closer to the earliest Methodists.

Comparative politics is a field in political science, characterized by an empirical approach based on the comparative method. In other words, comparative politics is the study of the domestic politics, political institutions, and conflicts of countries. It often involves comparisons among countries and through time within single countries, emphasizing key patterns of similarity and difference. Arend Lijphart argues that comparative politics does not have a substantive focus in itself, but rather a methodological one: it focuses on "the how but does not specify the what of the analysis." In other words, comparative politics is not defined by the object of its study, but rather by the method it applies to study political phenomena. Peter Mair and Richard Rose advance a slightly different definition, arguing that comparative politics is defined by a combination of a substantive focus on the study of countries' political systems and a method of identifying and explaining similarities and differences between these countries using common concepts. Rose states that, on his definition: "The focus is explicitly or implicitly upon more than one country, thus following familiar political science usage in excluding within-nation comparison. Methodologically, comparison is distinguished by its use of concepts that are applicable in more than one country."

Barrington Moore Jr. American historian and sociologist

Barrington Moore Jr. was an American political sociologist, and the son of forester Barrington Moore. He is famous for his Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (1966), a comparative study of modernization in Britain, France, the United States, China, Japan, Russia, Germany, and India. His many other works include Reflections on the Causes of Human Misery (1972) and an analysis of rebellion, Injustice: the Social Basis of Obedience and Revolt (1978).

<i>States and Social Revolutions</i> book by Theda Skocpol

States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China is a 1979 book by political scientist and sociologist Theda Skocpol, published by Cambridge University Press, which explains the causes of revolutions through the structural functionalism sociological paradigm comparative historical analysis of the French Revolution of 1789 through the early 19th century, the Russian Revolution of 1917 through the 1930s and the Chinese Revolution of 1911 through the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Skocpol argues that these three cases, despite being spread over a century and a half, are similar in the sense that all three were social revolutions.

The Methodist Church of Great Britain is a Protestant Christian denomination in Britain and the mother church to Methodists worldwide. It participates in the World Methodist Council, the World Council of Churches and other ecumenical associations.

Jabez Bunting, English Methodist preacher was born of humble parentage at Manchester. He was the most prominent Methodist after John Wesley's death in 1791. He preached successful revivals until 1802, when he saw revivals leading to dissension and division. He then became dedicated to church order and discipline, and vehemently opposed revivalism. He was a popular preacher in numerous cities. He held numerous senior positions as administrator. He watched budgets very closely. He and his allies centralized power by making the conference the final arbiter of Methodism, and giving it the power to reassign preachers and select district superintendents. He favored the extension of lay power in committees, and was particularly zealous in the cause of foreign missions. Politically, he was conservative, as were most Methodist leaders.

Historical institutionalism (HI) is a new institutionalist social science method that uses institutions to find sequences of social, political, economic behavior and change across time. It is a comparative approach to the study of all aspects of human organizations and does so by relying heavily on case studies.

Comparative historical research

Comparative historical research is a method of social science that examines historical events in order to create explanations that are valid beyond a particular time and place, either by direct comparison to other historical events, theory building, or reference to the present day. Generally, it involves comparisons of social processes across times and places. It overlaps with historical sociology. While the disciplines of history and sociology have always been connected, they have connected in different ways at different times. This form of research may use any of several theoretical orientations. It is distinguished by the types of questions it asks, not the theoretical framework it employs.

Ordination of women in Methodism

Methodist views on the ordination of women in the rite of holy orders are diverse.

History of Methodism in the United States

The history of Methodism in the United States dates back to the mid-18th Century with the ministries of early Methodist preachers such as Laurence Coughlan and Robert Strawbridge. Following the American Revolution most of the Anglican clergy who had been in America came back to England. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, sent Thomas Coke to America where he and Francis Asbury founded the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was to later establish itself as the largest denomination in America during the 19th Century.

Political revolution

A political revolution, in the Trotskyist theory, is an upheaval in which the government is replaced, or the form of government altered, but in which property relations are predominantly left intact. The revolutions in France in 1830 and 1848 are often cited as political revolutions.

Counter-revolutionary someone who opposes a revolution

A counter-revolutionary or anti-revolutionary is anyone who opposes a revolution, particularly those who act after a revolution to try to overturn or reverse it, in full or in part. The adjective, "counter-revolutionary," pertains to movements that would restore the state of affairs, or the principles, that prevailed during a prerevolutionary era.

Sarah Crosby was a Methodist preacher, and is considered to be the first woman to hold this title. Crosby, along with Mary Bosanquet, are the most popular women preachers of Methodism. Scholars such as Paul Wesley Chilcote consider Crosby to be the busiest female Methodist preacher, as she preached up until the day she died. She was also renowned for being skilled at prayer, which at the time was seen as a sort of religious art form.


  1. "social revolution". Oxford University Press . Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  2. Irving E. Fang, A History of Mass Communication: Six Information Revolutions, Focal Press, 1997, ISBN   0-240-80254-3, p. xv
  3. Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., p. 173
  4. Huntington, Samuel P. 1968. Political Order in Changing Societies. New Haven: Yale University Press., p.264
  5. (Skopcol, op cit)
  6. Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., p.3.
  7. Hobsbawm, Eric (1957). "Methodism and the Threat of Revolution in Britain". History Today . 7 (5). Historians have held that religious Revivalism in the late eighteenth century distracted the minds of the English from thoughts of Revolution.
  8. Maddox, Randy L.; Vickers, Jason E. (2010). The Cambridge Companion to John Wesley. Cambridge University Press. p. 179. ISBN   9780521886536.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Swatos, William H. (1998). Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. Rowman Altamira. p. 385. ISBN   9780761989561.
  10. Thomis, Malcom I.; Holt, Peter (1 December 1977). Threats of Revolution in Britain 1789–1848. Macmillan International Higher Education. p. 132. ISBN   9781349158171.

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