ERIC Number: ED407902
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Student Activism as an Agent of Social Change: A Phenomenological Analysis of Contemporary Campus Unrest.
Rhoads, Robert A.
This study of student activism as a campus phenomenon analyzed over 200 major incidents of college student activism. Most of the incidents were associated with racial struggle, women's concerns or gay liberation activities. These represent what have been called "cultural wars,""campus wars,""identity wars," or "multicultural unrest." Five cases were selected for in-depth analysis: the Mills College (California) Strike of 1990 (concerning changing the institution's all women status), the Chicano Studies Movement at the University of California (Los Angeles) in 1993, gay rights demonstrations at Pennsylvania State University from 1991 to 1993, African American student resistance at Rutgers University (New Jersey) in 1995, and financial aid protests involving Native American students at Michigan State University from 1994 to 1996. The study involved document analysis, site visits, and interviews with key informants. Each incident is described and analyzed for its wider implications. Each of these incidents was found to represent a message from students in defined minority status regarding the broader society. The paper concludes that contemporary student activism revolves around "identify politics" and is part of a larger social movement framed around the ideals of multiculturalism. (Contains 77 references.) (JLS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).