Collective behavior describes the actions, thoughts and feelings of a relatively temporary and unstructured group of people. In contrast a social movement is a large ongoing group of people engaged in organized behavior designed to bring about or resist change in society. social action is the organized step taken by the mass by raising their voice and the elite group supporting them through social advocacy. mass represents the people and the elite represents the power.
Social movement is people get together to stand up for a social issue. These issues can be political, economic, cultural, etc. A social movement allows the people to voice their opinions on a public matter.
Social movement theorists in the 1970s and 1980s were particularly concerned with overcoming this dilemma: If collective action is so difficult to achieve, they asked, why do people participate in social movements at all? A well organized social movement organization can overcome collective action problems, they argued, by convincing people that they represent their interests.
The most influential theory of collective action to emerge during the turbulent 1960s was one which was inherently skeptical about the possibility of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. Mancur Olson’s The Logic of Collective Action (1965) argued that individuals do not rationally participate in collective action unless the benefits of their participation outweigh the costs. Participation in large groups occurs only rarely because the benefits received by individual participants is only an average of the total benefits received by the group. The average individual benefit is inversely related to the size of the group. Participation in a mass organization is, therefore, rarely a rational choice.