Social Change and Activism in Europe

Big Question: How are concepts, practices, and histories of social change and activism unique in European contexts?

Time Required: 5 minutes (overview)

Large group of LGBT activists carry rainbow flags during parade in Russia.
Image via Institute for Human Security and Social Change Blog

These pages examine the concepts of activism and community engagement within European culture, and introduces readers to how EU citizens, individually and collectively, have achieved social change since the late 60s.

Concepts, beliefs, and practices are ethnocentric constructs, as they have developed and grown within and in accordance with a specific culture. For instance, notions of proximity, subjectivity, and space are cultural variables, whose interpretation fluctuates as a result of the different cultural development of a given society. Likewise, ideas of social activism, volunteering, and community engagement in countries other than the U.S. are differently nuanced because the historical, political, economic, etc. advancement of those countries has followed different trajectories. In our interdependent world, we often employ a common vocabulary across diverse cultures, even though certain terms do not bear the same meaning and implications.

These pages will offer readers the opportunity to identify differences/similarities between European and American forms of activism and community engagement.

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Citation for this page: Grazioli, B., Carnine, J. & Brandauer, S. (2020). How are concepts, practices, and histories of social change and activism unique in European contexts? In E. Hartman (Ed.). Interdependence: Global Solidarity and Local Actions. The Community-based Global Learning Collaborative. Retrieved from http://globalsolidaritylocalaction.sites.haverford.edu/social-change-and-activism-in-europe/