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Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2021

Thomas V. Maher and Jennifer Earl

Prior social movement research has focused on the role that axes of inequality – particularly race, class, gender, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer…

Abstract

Prior social movement research has focused on the role that axes of inequality – particularly race, class, gender, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) status – play for who participates and how they do so. Age is another important axis of inequality. The pervasiveness of a youth deficit model, which casts young people as deficient and requiring benevolent adult tutelage, is of particular concern for youth. This chapter assesses whether the internalization of the deficit model influences young people's activism and how they perceive their engagement. Drawing on interviews with 40 high school and college students from a southwestern US city, we find that many young people have internalized deficit-model assumptions, affecting when and how they participated. This was most evident among high school students, who limited their participation because they were “not old enough” or gravitated toward more “age-appropriate” forms of activism. Interestingly, we found college students were more willing to engage in online activism but also felt compelled to do significant research on issues before participating, thereby distancing themselves from the deficit model's assumptions of their political naivety. Finally, some participants felt discouraged by the perceived ineffectiveness of protest, which resonated with deficit model narratives of the futility of youth engagement. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the impacts of an internalized deficit model as well as considering age as an axis of inequality in activism. Youth engagement is best supported by seeing young people as capable actors with unique interests, capacities, and points of view.

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The Politics of Inequality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-363-0

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Book part
Publication date: 12 September 2017

Jason Nunzio Dorio

In this chapter, I will first conceptualize social movement theory before examining the importance of student movements and student activism. I then will link social…

Abstract

In this chapter, I will first conceptualize social movement theory before examining the importance of student movements and student activism. I then will link social movement theory to the university in Egypt. Next, I will contextualize university activism by describing the authoritarian structures of Egypt’s university system. Then, using secondary data sources, I will characterize university activism during the three transitional political periods (under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SACF), under President Morsi, and after the ousting of Morsi), and conclude with a discussion on the implications of student activism on future university reform.

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The Power of Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-462-6

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Book part
Publication date: 2 March 2021

Jonathan S. Coley

Colleges and universities in the United States are common sites of social movement activism, yet we know little about the conditions under which campus-based movements are…

Abstract

Colleges and universities in the United States are common sites of social movement activism, yet we know little about the conditions under which campus-based movements are likely to meet with success or failure. In this study, I develop the concept of educational opportunity structures, and I highlight several dimensions of colleges and universities' educational opportunity structures – specifically, schools' statuses as public or private, secular or religious, highly or lowly ranked, and more or less wealthy – that can affect the outcomes of campus-based movements. Analyzing a religious freedom movement at Vanderbilt University, which mobilized from 2010 to 2012 to demand the ability of religious student organizations to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious belief, I argue that Vanderbilt's status as a private, secular, elite, and wealthy university ensured that conservative Christian activism at that school was highly unlikely to succeed. The findings hold important theoretical implications for the burgeoning literature on student activism.

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Alessandra Rosa

On December 14, 2010, University of Puerto Rico (UPR) student activists initiated the second wave of their strike at a disadvantage. The presence of the police force…

Abstract

Purpose

On December 14, 2010, University of Puerto Rico (UPR) student activists initiated the second wave of their strike at a disadvantage. The presence of the police force inside the campus raised the stakes for the student movement. No longer did student activists have the “legal rights” or control of the university as a physical public space to hold their assemblies and coordinate their different events. As a result, student activists had to improvise and (re)construct their spaces of resistance by using emotional narratives, organizing non-violent civil disobedience acts at public places, fomenting lobbying groups, disseminating online petitions, and developing alternative proposals to the compulsory fee. This second wave continued until March 2011, when it came to a halt after an incident that involved physical harassment to the Chancellor, Ana Guadalupe, during one of the student demonstrations. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on Ron Eyerman’s (2005, p. 53) analysis on “the role of emotions in social movements with the aid of performance theory,” the author center this paper on examining student activists’ tactics and strategies in the development and maintenance of their emotional narratives and internet activism. By adapting Joshua Atkinson’s (2010) concept of resistance performance, the author argues that student activists’ resistance performances assisted them in (re)framing their collective identities by (re)constructing spaces of resistance and contention while immersed in violent confrontations with the police.

Findings

Ever since the establishment of the university as an institution, student activism has played a key role in shaping the political policies and history of many countries; “today, student actions continue to have direct effects on educational institutions and on national and international politics” (Edelman, 2001, p. 3). Consequently, and especially in times of economic and political crisis, student activism has occupied and constructed spaces of resistance and contention to protest and reveal the existing repressions of neoliberal governments serving as a (re)emergence of an international social movement to guarantee the accessibility to a public higher education of excellence. Thus, it is important to remember that the 2010-2011 UPR student activism’s success should not be measured by the sum of demands granted, but rather by the sense of community achieved and the establishment of social networks that have continued to create resistance and change in the island.

Originality/value

As of yet there is no thorough published analysis of the 2010-2011 UPR student strike, its implications, and how the university community currently perceives it. By elaborating on the concept of resistance performance, the author’s study illustrates how both traditional and alternative media (re)presentations of student activism can develop, maintain, adjust, or change the students’ collective identity(ies). The author’s work not only makes Puerto Rico visible in the research concerning social movements, student activism, and internet activism; in addition, it provides resistance performance as a concept to describe various degrees of participation in current social movements.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 12 September 2017

Abstract

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The Power of Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-462-6

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

Tiffany M. Nyachae, Mary B. McVee and Fenice B. Boyd

Purpose – This chapter discusses youth participation in a Social Justice Literacy Workshop (SJLW). Participants were predominantly Black youth residing in an urban…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter discusses youth participation in a Social Justice Literacy Workshop (SJLW). Participants were predominantly Black youth residing in an urban community with a rich history and important community resources such as libraries and churches. The SJLW used a variety of print texts, videos, artwork, documents, and other texts to explore the topic of police brutality and other justice-related topics.

Design/Methodology/Approach – This chapter uses the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model as a lens to revisit the SJLW as designed and implemented by the first author Tiffany Nyachae. Nyachae designed and implemented the SJLW as space to inspire students to engage in critical thinking and analysis of authentic texts, and to use these textual interactions as an impetus for activism in their community. With the help of her co-authors, Nyachae reflects on the SJLW through a GRR lens to describe how students were scaffolded and supported as they moved toward activism.

FindingsStudents brought their own understandings of police brutality and awareness of activism to the SJLW. These prior understandings were shaped both by their own lived experiences but also by their awareness of and interaction with social media. During the SJLW, youth read and discussed the novels All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (2015) and Hush by Jacqueline Woodson (2002). The youth engaged in activities and discussions about how prevalent issues in each novel connected to larger social and political concerns. Students discussed the current events, engaged in reflective writing, read short pieces, and analyzed documents and videos. The SJLW was successful in such a way that all students felt comfortable voicing their opinions, even when opinions differed from their peers. Students demonstrated critical thinking about issues related to justice. All students completed an action plan to address injustice in their community. While applying the GRR to this context and reflecting, first author Nyachae began to consider the other scaffolds for youth that could have been included, particularly one youth, JaQuan, who was skeptical about what his community had done to support him. Nyachae revisits the SJLW to consider how the GRR helped to reveal the need for additional scaffolding that JaQuan or other youth may have needed from leaders in the SJLW. A literature review also revealed that very few literacy practices have brought together the GRR and social justice teaching or learning.

Research Limitations/Implications – This chapter demonstrates that the GRR framework can be effectively applied to a justice-centered teaching and learning context as a reflective tool. Since very little research exists on using the GRR framework with justice-centered teaching, there is a need for additional research in this area as the GRR model offers many affordances for researchers and teachers. There is also a need for literacy researchers to consider elements of justice even when applying the GRR framework to any classroom or out-of-school context with children and youth.

Practical Implications – The GRR can be a useful tool for reflecting the practices of literacy and justice-centered teaching. Just as the GRR can be a useful framework to help teachers think about teaching reading comprehension, it can be an effective tool to help teachers think about supporting students to grow from awareness to activism in justice-centered teaching and learning.

Originality/Value of Paper – This chapter is one of only a handful of published works that brings together a social justice perspective with the GRR.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2020

Tim Briedis

The purpose of the paper is to explore and analyse the history of the predominantly Malaysian Network of Overseas Students Collectives in Australia (NOSCA), that existed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to explore and analyse the history of the predominantly Malaysian Network of Overseas Students Collectives in Australia (NOSCA), that existed from 1985–1994.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on extensive archival research in the State Library of New South Wales, the National Library of Australia and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Archives. It makes particular use of the UNSW student newspaper Tharunka and the NOSCA publications Truganini and Default. It also draws upon nine oral history interviews with former members of NOSCA.

Findings

The NOSCA was particularly prominent at the UNSW, building a base there and engaging substantially in the student union. Informed by anarchism, its activists were interested in an array of issues–especially opposition to student fees and in solidarity with struggles for democracy and national liberation in Southeast Asia, especially around East Timor. Moreover, the group would serve as a training ground for a layer of activists, dissidents and opposition politicians throughout Southeast Asia, with a milieu of ex-NOSCA figures sometimes disparagingly referred to as “the NOSCA Mafia.”

Originality/value

While there has been much research on overseas students, there has been far less on overseas students as protestors and activists. This paper is the first case study to specifically hone in on NOSCA, one of the most substantial and left wing overseas student groups. Tracing the group's history helps us to reframe and rethink the landscape of student activism in Australia, as less white, less middle class and less privileged.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Omer Caliskan

The study seeks to understand the experiences and perceptions of the university youth regarding the democratic atmosphere of a public university located in Turkey. To this…

Abstract

The study seeks to understand the experiences and perceptions of the university youth regarding the democratic atmosphere of a public university located in Turkey. To this end, the objective of this research is twofold: (1) to investigate university students’ level of civic engagement regarding student activism, exercising rights, and interest in politics; and (2) to explore students’ perception of their university environment regarding the promotion of tolerance, respect for ideas, and participation in decision-making. This study was carried out at a public university located in the middle of Turkey. A mixed-method approach was employed, including both qualitative and quantitative data. A total of 332 undergraduate students participated in the quantitative part while 14 undergraduate students were interviewed in the qualitative part of the study. In quantitative data collection, two self-developed scales were used: Civic Engagement Scale and Perceptions of Democratic University Environment Scale. The results of the data analysis indicated that students’ overall civic engagement level was below the average level. In particular, the level of studentsactivism was significantly lower than that of students’ interest in politics and exercising rights, respectively. In addition, the level of students’ interest in politics was significantly lower than that of students’ exercising rights. With respect to the students’ perception of democratic university environment, the data revealed that students’ overall perception of the university environment was slightly above average level. Specifically, the students’ perception of university environment regarding respect for ideas was significantly higher than that of university environment regarding participation in decision-making.

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Faculty and Student Research in Practicing Academic Freedom
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-701-3

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2020

Sung-Lim Park

The purpose of this paper is to identify the cause how the student movement in South Korea enjoyed the golden age in the 1970–1990s and could not be revived since the late…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the cause how the student movement in South Korea enjoyed the golden age in the 1970–1990s and could not be revived since the late 1990s and cannot be played a pivotal role again.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts historical analysis as primary methodology, traced the historical evolution of South Korean student activism in the 1970–1990s through analyzing secondary Korean literature and newspaper on the particular struggle cases in the period.

Findings

Social solidarity between society and student had played a pivotal role in the South Korean students' long activism in the struggle of the 1970–1990s. In the 1970–1980s, democratic election and constitutional reform set in the main purpose of struggle that attracted wide support from society and enjoyed maintaining a new member supply and their commitment despite authoritarian government's persistent oppression. When the sixth constitution was passed in 1987 with Democratization, the student decided to choose continuing struggle and set social cooperation with North Korea as the new goal, the sensitive issue in South Korea that confronted fierce criticism. Society chose to withdraw their support to the activism in the Yonsei University incident of 1996, rung a knell of long struggle since the 1970s.

Originality/value

The research identified the cause how South Korean students in university could persist long strike without particular internal resource production during three decades and ended the long struggle in the late 1990s; the existence of social solidarity between student and society was the main reason of continued new member supply and their commitment in the battle.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

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Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Amy Faye Bocko, LuMarie Guth and Micha Broadnax

In September 2015 protests erupted at the University of Missouri following a series of racist incidents on campus and culminating in the resignation of the university…

Abstract

Purpose

In September 2015 protests erupted at the University of Missouri following a series of racist incidents on campus and culminating in the resignation of the university president in November 2015. In solidarity with the protests student activists at universities across the United States and Canada organized into the Black Liberation Collective and held the first #StudentBlackoutOut day of protests on university campuses on November 15 followed by the publication of lists of demands to over 80 colleges in 28 states, the District of Columbia and Canada in the hopes of creating more-equitable and inclusive institutions. These demands shared similarity in requests for equity as those put forth during the Black Campus Movement of the late 1960s which led to the establishment of Black studies and cultural centers at colleges and universities. Academic libraries in particular were included with several demands to better serve the Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) community.

Design/methodology/approach

While librarianship has largely been a historically White profession, libraries have undertaken many diversity and inclusion initiatives over the years. This article will examine seven case studies concerning college and university libraries addressing demands collated by the Black Liberation Collective in 2015. Six years out from the publication of the lists, we will evaluate statements issued by the libraries and posted on their websites, the promises that have been made to address inequities and the ensuing actions the libraries have taken to create a welcoming, inclusive community.

Findings

The authors examine seven institutions where demands from student activists speak directly to the library. We examine the library's response to make changes and subsequent actions.

Originality/value

The authors take a journalist approach to their research and examination of library responses.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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