How, when, and why do social movements emerge? What motivates individuals to participate? What transforms problems into grievances and grievances to action? How should movements be organized, and what tactics should they use? What factors explain movement success and failure (and how should success and failure be defined)? What is a social movement, anyway? This course seeks to introduce some of the major ways scholars have approached such questions and, at the same time, to give a sense of both the high drama and the everyday details of social movement activism, using historical and sociological case studies. Course readings concentrate on U.S. movements, including racial justice, class, gender, and sexuality-based activism.