A Brief History of Social Movements in North America


The purpose of this analysis is to differentiate social movements. In this instance, we will be using the hippie/counterculture movements during the 1960s and 1970s in Canada, and those that are occurring in the second decade of the twenty-first century. In particular, this analysis distinguishes right-wing extremist movements in 2016 from groups like the Hippie Movement and the Black Panther Party Movement. Specific reference will be made to contrast the social movements of the twenty-first century that are non-political in nature but are identity-based, versus movements during the 60s and 70s that were political by design and intent. Due to the non-political nature of twenty-first century Violent Transnational Social Movements, they might be characterized as fifth generation warfare, which we identify as identity-based social movements in violent conflict with other identity based social movements, this violence may be soft or hard. ‘Soft violence damages the fabric of relationships between communities as entrenches or highlights the superiority of one group over another without kinetic impact. Soft violence is harmful activities to others which stops short of physical violence’. (Kelshall, 2019) Hard violence is then recognized as when soft violence tactics result in physical violence. Insurgencies are groups that challenge and/or resist the authority of the state. There are different levels of insurgencies; and on the extreme end, there is the resistance of systemic authority.

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