Within this field of ideas that are a part of the social protest, it is necessary to mention some key concepts like mentality, utopia, and myth. The mentality is a shared set of ideas, which are not explicitly formulated, on everyday issues. They belong to the realm of the unconscious and influence individual and group behavior.
Utopia means a society project which is desirable but unattainable. It could also define the perfect and harmonious social organization. The protagonist is always in a utopian society in relation to social movements, utopia is important because, without an idea of what would be a perfect society, it is impossible to determine the appropriate path or paths to reach the ideal pursued.
In certain social trends and moments in history, utopian models were proposed as achievable and possible. Moreover, these ideal models are also interesting because through them the various political, social, and economic changes contemplated at the time, as the main problems of the period in question of the society are revealed.
They are therefore indicative of the causes bequeathed by social movements. Many utopias have had a great capacity for mobilization. The myth is a set of representations expressed by images or symbols, not systematically ordered and integrated into a whole, is a history of primary events that shaped our society and explains how it is in the present.
Reform movements have been known to bring about great changes in not only America but the whole world. Many reform movements for education, equal rights, religious freedom, etc., have helped in the evolution of our contemporary society. Without such reformists and their movements, society would still probably be functioning on rules and norms reflecting the Middle Ages.
Such movements work towards the betterment of any existing issue, it aims to change the existing values of the society, along with providing means of implementing these changes. They are vastly different from revolutionary movements, which aim to replace the existing values on any particular issue.
Reform movements seek limited but significant changes within the political, social, or economic framework of any nation. For example, a reform movement would work towards improving an existing governmental regime rather than plotting to overthrow it.
Included in some of the most famous social reform movements in the history of America as well as the world, are the women’s rights movements which succeeded the Civil War, the Southern civil rights movement, the contemporary women’s movement, the Vietnam anti-war movement, the gay rights movement, etc.
Such movements usually operate outside of the political structure by carrying out activities such as rallies and demonstrations which on a massive or even small scale are impossible to ignore, as they only tend to gain momentum with the help of the contemporary news media. This puts the government and the target of the protests under often worldwide focus, thus creating pressure upon them.