ERIC Number: ED026953
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Student Power and the New Left: The Role of SDS.
As the target of student protests has changed from the Southern sheriff to the university administrator, attitudes of educators and the public have hardened. Today academic liberals enunciate the view that most protesters are sincere and idealistic but that there is a small band of nihilistic revolutionaries dedicated to destroying the university. At the center, it's said, is SDS. The author's experience as a founder and national officer of SDS, as a researcher on the social-psychological roots of student protest, and as a college teacher are drawn upon in dealing with the actual motives and attitudes of SDS. Recent studies on student activists are remarkably convergent, particularly in their finding that student activists are much more closely linked to academic life and intellectuality than their nonactivist peers. The history of the student movement from the late fifties provides some of the answers to why radical students, who have strong commitments to education, have selected the university as a major target for disruption. The primary concern of SDS has always been social reconstruction, and disillusionment with the university because of its irrelevance to basic human questions and undemocratic character was expressed at its founding. However, the history clearly indicates that student radicalism did not begin as, nor have as its major focus, an attack on the universities. SDS's present position is a direct outgrowth of student experiences in the university and outside society. (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: Students for a Democratic Society
Note: Paper presented at annual meeting of American Psychological Association, San Francisco, California, September 1968.