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Abstract

We define social action as a strategy to obtain limited social change at the intermediate or macro levels of society which is generally used in nonconsensus situations and employs both "norm-adhering" and "norm-testing" modes of intervention. In this formulation, the key concept is social change. This paper proposes to explore certain aspects of social change as they apply to social action.

The discussion is divided into two parts. The first is a brief summary of pertinent social change theory, presented as background for part two in which are presented and discussed certain propositions about planned change that are critical to any social action endeavor. This treatment, obviously, will not cover every subconcept of social change that is applicable to social action. Nor does it include a direct discussion of power, crucial as this is for social action; that requires a separate treatment of its own. Only five concepts are selected and discussed: social movements, crisis, conflict, resistance to change, and legitimacy.

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