ERIC Number: ED030357
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1967
Reference Count: N/A
Commitment and Conformity in the American College.
Trent, James W.; Craise, Judith L.
Journal of Social Issues, v23 n3 p34-51 1967
The major thesis of this paper is that the intense political activism observed on some campuses is not pervasive and is representative of only a small proportion of college students in the US; and that the great majority of students today largely manifest the apathy and conformity that have characterized students in the past, rather than the kind of commitment and autonomy that leads to political activism or serious political involvement. To substantiate this, the extent of dissent in colleges across the country is discussed and a portrait of the "average" student is drawn based on a national sample of 10,000 high school graduates. A comparison is made of personality traits of Free Speech members, of their contemporaries in professionally oriented programs, and of students in the national sample. This last analysis, which includes data on both college and noncollege peer groups, is especially pertinent to 1 of the major themes: that college can provide the environment for personality growth in just those character traits that distinguish student activists from their more conforming college counterparts. Finally, the positive implications of activism for the educational system and for student development are considered. It is argued that the qualities brought to meaningful dissent in college will be enduring, positive and influential. (JS)
Descriptors: Activism, Environmental Influences, Higher Education, Institutional Role, Student Characteristics, Student Development
Journal of Social Issues, Edwards Brothers, Inc., 2500 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Berkeley. Center for Research and Development in Higher Education.