Principles of Social Action

Recently, I found a dowry case in Thane, Maharashtra. I got to know, a pregnant woman has beaten by her in laws and husband. They were demanding some cash to her parents. In this incidents she miscarriage her baby and injured. Such inhuman activities need to be redressed in right forum. A strong social action need be formalized for stopping theses kind of inhuman activities.

In the rural part of the odisha, 5 men lost their life in June 2020 by consuming toxic alcohol. They used to drink alcohol on dailbasis and beating their wife and children and making chaos in the society. Inorder, to eradicate this a strong social action policy need to be formalized.

 So, let us discuss “Social Action”.

Social Action is an auxiliary method of social work, Out of 6 methods it is one of the important to all. It is a method where working with the people, it remained a debatable issue among the social work profession. It is an organized effort to change or improve both social and economic conditions of society. Some problems are like, dowry system, poor housing, alcoholism, health, education including various social issues related to the child, women, adolescents, etc. It is taken as a transformational  practice to meet the objective of promoting well-being to bring change in the social system.

Why Social Action Needed In Community Development

Social action as a practice is not new in India. The tradition of influencing public policy, for eradicating social evils, goes back to the nineteenth century social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy. The legacy of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Thanthai periyar and Ambedkar gives significant insight into the indigenous and effective advocacy methods practised during the pre-independence period.  In India, there have been social action efforts on issues related to environmental degradation, rights of the dalits and tribals, women‘s rights and civil rights, nuclear installations, land alienation of tribals, child labour, unorganised working sector, drug and forest policies and many other issues.

Objectives of Social Action

a)     To bring improvement in mass condition and problems

b)     To participate in decision-making

c)     To create a redistribution of power and resources

d)     To bring prevention of needs

e)     To influence policies, practices and institution

Principles of social action

1.       Principle of  Credibility building:

It creates a public image of every leadership, the participation, the organization of the movement to bring social justice and truth. It helps to secure from various challenges. It can be built in many ways like

ü  Gesture of goodwill towards the opponent

ü  Example setting

ü  Selection of typical, urgently felt problems for struggles

ü  success

2.       Principle of  Dramatization:

It is the principle of mass mobilization by which the leaders of mass movement, who shock or excite the population into action by sensational news management, novel procedures, slogans, and other techniques. Some mechanisms are;

ü  Use of songs

ü  Powerful speeches

ü  Role of women

ü  Slogans

ü  Boycott 

3.       Principle of  Legitimization:

Legitimization is a continuous process. It is a process of convincing the target group and the morally right public. It follows 3 approaches

ü  Theological and religious approach

ü  Moral approach

ü  Legal and technical approach

4.       Principle of  Multiple Strategies:

It is the basket principle which indicates the adoption of  social work intervention with communities and institutions. The multiple strategies which use a combination of different types of programs like;

ü  Educational strategy

ü  Persuasive strategy

ü  Facilitative strategy

ü  Power Strategy


5.       Principle of  Dual approach:

Every activist has to build a counter-system, which is thought to be beneficial to the mobilized public on a self- help basis without involving the opponent.

6.       Principle of  Manifold Programmes:

It means developing a variety of programs with the ultimate objective of mass mobilization. It may be categorized into 3 parts;

ü  Social

ü  Economic

ü  Political 

As a method of professional social work, social action has remained an issue with a wide range of opinions regarding the scope, strategies and skills to be used, its status defines the method of social work and it is relevant to social work practice. Many authors describe mass betterment through propaganda and social legislation to improve social legislation and  provide health welfare services to the poorer.

 As we knew that, social action is a secondary method of professional social work, it is to be used to bring or prevent changes in the social system through the process of making people aware of their situation. The social, political, and economic influence on their lives. This is done by mobilizing, awarding them to organize for bringing needs to desired through the use of appropriate worked out applying strategies and the exception of violence. Many examples can clarify, social action is socio-religious movements in the medieval period targeted against superstition, orthodox religious practices, and various other social evils. The underlying philosophy of these social actions was humanitarian in nature based on the principles of justice, equality, and fraternity.

            Social Action is a secondary method of professional social work. It brings social change through the mass program, propaganda, rally, Dharana, and through anymore activities only the reason is to prevent social problems like; child labor, women empowerment, substance abuses, etc.can be tackled through social action. Social Action can be done by more than one person. It influences to others positively.

              The primary objective is to bring the solution in social change to the mass problem, improve mass condition, redistribute  power and human resources.


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