Social movements and social change is seem sometimes synonymous with each other however they do not necessarily being solutions to the social problems. They may champion the cause of social problems but do not guarantee a solution. Social movements may promise to bring about social change but it is not one-way process. Not only do social movements bring about change but social change sometimes gives birth to movements. Social change often breeds social movement and Smelser has defined social movement as an organized group effort to generate socio-cultural change. For every social movement there is a counter movement.
The purpose of these counter movements is to oppose the original movement. They struggle to maintain the status quo.Society is not a static element. It is a complex system of movements and counter movements pulling in different directions. When this tussle is finally in favour of the movement, it becomes a part of the social structure. A successful movement may become part of the social order. It can be said that the intricate relationship between social movements and social change cannot be completely undersood.According to Smelser while there is much that we do not understand about the interplay of social movements and social change it is clear that the two are linked in an intricate pattern.