A social reform movement aims to alter the political and social perspectives of underrepresented groups. Social reform movements bring together activists and members of oppressed groups in an effort to influence political policy while raising awareness of the problem through demonstrations, altered legislation, and the media.
When a subtle social movement fails, a radical, violent social reform may occur. However, reform movements are frequently incremental movements that make modest adjustments to specific aspects of society. Social movements have worked to change laws pertaining to voting rights, psychiatric hospitals, public schools, jails, alcohol use, women’s rights, slavery, and civil rights.