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Campaign for development, social movement and revolution

A.S. Adeniran


Social movement and revolution are tools used to shape social changes. Social movement aims to advance a group’s agenda either by rectifying cultural drifts, social disorganizations and social injustice but revolution aims to unseat the government or to transform the entire political order. Based on archival evidence, this article examines the impact of social movement on the manifestations and modifications of specific socio-cultural policies of democratic governments in Nigeria. Though there are commonalities and differentials between social movements and revolutions, there is a strong linkage between the two concepts. Social movement is largely an event on a micro-level while revolution is on a macro-level. Social movement engages limited violence and often resorts to thoughtful persuasion, but revolution enlists unlimited violence that manifests in gritty coercion. However, recently in Nigeria, a number of online social movements have developed and they strive to give voice to the voiceless in the socio-political structure, as well as gaining recognition online and offline, so as to promote social development within the polity. Karl Marx upholds that conflict is inevitable in the social structure yet it can be concluded that most of the fundamental developments in human history, such as national independence, democracy, social justice, social inclusion and civil/human rights have been won on the platform of social movement. There are hierarchical or stratified social relations in the society which breeds social struggle within the class systems. Unequivocally, social movements are bound to arise wherever social conditions are unfavorable.

Key words: socio-cultural, social movement, revolution, development