Psychology of Collective Action

Module code: C8566
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

On this module you’ll examines the psychology of collective action – one of the primary tools groups around the world use to challenge or defend the social, economic and political conditions and systems they live in.

Examples include movements such as those fighting around:

  • labour rights
  • gender rights
  • racial justice
  • anti-colonialism/imperialism
  • environmentalism.

Methods vary too, including nonviolent (including petitions, protests and strikes) and violent methods (such as riots or militant group tactics).

By drawing on theories and empirical evidence from social psychology, you will examine:

  • what motivates people to engage in collective action in different contexts, and using different methods
  • how collective action affects individuals and society
  • the social psychological dynamics involved.

Module learning outcomes

  • Describe theories and models on the motivations, effects and dynamics involved in the psychology of collective action.
  • Summarize methods used in research on the psychology of collective action and interpret the published findings.
  • Critically evaluate research studies conducted on the psychology of collective action.