ERIC Number: ED023367
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Youth and Social Revolution.
de Jouvenel, Bertrand
A general wave of student eruptions is taking place in many countries not only because of dissatisfaction with specific institutional practices, but because of a profound and deepening estrangement between academic youth and modern society. Among elements contributing to the growth of a new political movement are much larger student bodies and institutions, a social climate in which change is praised and obsolescence denounced, and the present rise of the "qualitative appreciation of youth" -- a phenomenon causing youth to question the underlying values of the prevailing culture. Throughout Europe and the US, militant students (generally brilliant scholars) express distaste for traditionally structured careers; thus want to redirect the course of social change. Because the student population is older than formerly, the university's effort to regulate private lives is resented. Frustration is also provoked because, as nonparticipants in the economic system, students "do" little. And independence of material conditions tends to breed highly emotional political views based on psychological, not financial, interests. As the nature of a university precludes its integration into consumer-oriented society, students most responsive to university values are least comfortable outside academia. An examination of the May student revolt in Paris shows the government's failure in dealing with political demands and the university's success in dealing with demands for academic reform. University authorities should avoid involvement in political activities of students. If the learning process is disturbed, it is students who suffer and who must assume the blame. Thus all "law and order" functions should be placed in student hands. There is no more suitable place for democratic self government than the university. (JS)
Descriptors: College Administration, Economics, Higher Education, Political Attitudes, Social Values, Student Reaction, Student Role, Values
American Council on Education, 1785 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: France (Paris)
Note: Paper presented at 51st Annual Meeting of American Council on Education, 1968; to be published in THE FUTURE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY, ed. John Caffrey.