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ERIC Number: ED547915
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 418
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-5498-0
Contemporary Student Activism: The Educational Contexts of Socially-Responsible Civic Engagement
Barnhardt, Cassie L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
Contemporary higher education leaders tend to view campus based activism as an outgrowth of an educational experience that inspires and leads students to engage in civic action for the purpose of alleviating systemic social, economic, or political injustices. Accordingly, this study explores the relationships between the structural characteristics and the educational contexts of campuses relative to the occurrence of student mobilization. Using a concurrent embedded mixed-method design, this study focuses primarily on a random sample of 149 U.S. campuses that had the potential for becoming involved in the student anti-sweatshop movement between the years 1998-2002. A supplemental data set involving 1,245 U.S. public and private four-year institutions is used to perform a multinomial logistic model that identifies those campus characteristics that predict whether a campus would have some degree of involvement with an external social movement organization in the institutional field. Additionally, a qualitative newspaper content and frame analysis (conducted on the N = 149 sample) characterizes the manner in which contemporary student activism is enacted and understood on those campuses that experienced mobilization. The results indicate that diversity requirements in the undergraduate curriculum, along with having robust area studies programs contribute to the likelihood that campuses will mobilize. Further, the forces in the external institutional environment were found to have the equivalent effect to the influence of the campus context in predicting whether student mobilization ensued. Findings also demonstrate that student activists frame their movement involvement as an extension of their local internal organizational identities, and tend to enact movement strategies which are educationally oriented and symbolically important. Overall, this research contributes to theories of socially-responsible stakeholder collective action, and further elucidates movement dynamics within particular types of social institutions. The study concludes with recommendations for practice for college educators who seek to foster an educational experience that promotes civic engagement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A