This essay "New Social Movements: Importance in Advertising and Globalisation" outlines the history of the new social movement and its effect on the culture, politic and advertising. According to Schmidt (2006), new social movements are those which have come up in many western societies as from the 1960s and have a tendency to draw individuals from the middle class as opposed to the working class part of the society. They place emphasis on collective identity and change of lifestyle and culture. Rather than focusing on the economy and class alone, these movements include matters of ecology, peace, gays’ rights and feminist movements.
The origins of these new social movements can be traced to the 1960s, where according to Pearce (1991) several movements based on ecological issues sprung up including; campaigns against RTZ and Windscale by the Friends of the Earth movement which started in 1969, the “save the whale” campaign by Greenpeace in 1971 against nuclear testing in Alaska, and WWF’s agitation against the toxic effects of industrial pollution on wildlife. Several feminist movements also sprung up during those periods, later accompanied by gay rights campaigns among other movements. Pichardo (1997) identifies the origins as several students strikes across Europe and America in the 1960’s. They markedly differ from old social movements in several ways. To begin with, they place more emphasis on collective identity and culture change rather than on developed ideologies as were in old social movements.
Della and Porta (1999) reckon that new social movements are based on a decentralized nature of power and agitation rather than on the Marxist centralization class-based nature of social change. Morris (1992) argues that new social movements these new movements create a collective identity while old movements were based on structures, a feature that hindered collective identity. The other difference between the two is that while the old social movements were nearly entirely focused on economic issues, new social movements are instead post-material. Sociology Essays (1990) lists the range of these movements to include ecology, ethnicity, feminism, sexual identity, peace and alternative medicine among others, and indicates that they have come up to challenge the traditional forms of social movements. They appear to be widely independent and virtual, based on no single interpretation like the traditional forms of social movements were. New social movements also differ from the old ones in terms of the class of people involved (Schmidt, 2006). While the traditional forms of social movements were based on the working class, new social movements do not entirely draw from this class and instead contain the middle class and young people who do not identify with the existing political groupings (Inglehart 1997, p311). Importance of culture in the politics of new social movements While the old social movements were to a large part concerned with financial welfare and class issues, new social movements have integrated a lot of cultural concerns in their undertakings. Capra (1984) identifies seven principles of new politics: