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Social Movements

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Social movements are form of group actions that are formed by individuals or organizations that come together with a unity of purpose. The groupings can either be formal or informal depending on the nature of group, the number of people involved and the purpose of the group. These Groups mainly have specific goals and objectives that they want to achieve. These goals and objectives may vary from politic, economic to social issues. These movement have been made possible  in through the enlightenment  of the people in the society through education , industrialization  and urbanization hence making people know their rights  in the society (Landsberg, 2004) .In South Africa, such kinds of social movement are common and are varied depending on the main purpose of their formation. Notably is the Landless People’s Movement (LPM).

Type of the social movement. According to Hall (2007), the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) is an independent social movement formed in South Africa to fight for the rights of the landless people in the country. The social movement is a typical radical social movement that seeks or demands for the full inclusion and acceptance of the slum dwellers as well as the landless into the lifeline of the various cities of South Africa.  The movement is made up of the poor and landless in South Africa. It was formed to represent the poor and landless people living the rural areas and also the poor urban dwellers who live the shacks settlements in the cities of South Africa like Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria. It core mandate is to redefine fundamental rights, interactions and social relations in the society. These fundamental issues include the basic human processes with the other people in the society, nature and life in general.

The movement further look into issues of past land injustices identifying the sources of  land dispossession, historical inequalities and  economic policies that have made it hard for the poor citizens of  South Africa to acquire land. This Movement came into  being in 24th , July 2001 when the provincial representatives of the landless formations and groups came together and met with the  leaders of the regional organizations championing for the grievances and united their grievances and collectively sort to have change in the land sector through land reforms to in order to end their struggles. The movement was the formally in 2001 and enjoyed the support of a non governmental organization NGO, called the National land Committee (NLC). However in the year 2003 the movement broke ranks with the NGO and has since operated independently (Moyo, 2008).

Theoretical perspective of the movement. The Landless People’s movement has its theoretical perspective based on a number of the theories of social movements that have worked well for them. These theories include the following; the collective behavior or collective action theories.  This theory refers to a situation whereby there is formation of social processes and events that do not reflect the existing social processes, structures and laws, convections and institutions that have been put in place to cater for such needs. The theory claims that the events occur spontaneously .This is for the landless Peoples Movement as there was no proper procedures followed for if formations but only happened the poor people felt that they had suppress for a very long time. The movement was neither conforming nor defiant but only demanded for what they perceived as rightfully their.

The movement also used the relative deprivation theory. In this case the movement was convinced that they had been deprived of what they think is rightfully their. The think that being denied access to good life through having good shelter and housing was against their fundamental right (Moyo, 2008). For this reason therefore, the movement is articulating for the change of land policy that will allow them to live own land have a place to call home. They also want the shacks dwellers in the cities be corporated as part of the city dwelling life and not treated like they are not part of the settlement that  make up the city dwellers.

In connection to the theory of collective behavior, the value-added theory was used. In this theory they are the basic assumptions that there are certain conditions that must have played of or been fulfilled that allows the theory of collective responsibility to come into effect.  These conditions that made it possible for the social movement to occur include; structural conduciveness. These are the things that make it possible for the movement to occur. They are normally the problems that are being faced currently by the concern group and the opportunities that are available for them to seize and push for these problems to be addressed.

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