Cover: American Student Activism.

American Student Activism.

Published 1968

by S. M. Lipsett

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An exploration of the behavior patterns of student activists in the United States. Under greater strain and with less reward than any previous generation except that of the Depression, students today are motivated to act politically from: (1) tensions due to increased educational and social competition; (2) an idealism encouraged by society; (3) a prolonged sociological adolescence; (4) opportunities to study and discuss politics; and (5) a more liberal faculty increasingly less concerned with undergraduate students. Mass activity is facilitated by young people's lack of commitment to jobs or the status quo, their legal treatment as adolescents, and their geographical availability for political mobilization. Most students have moderate views, but the activists' indiscriminate use of civil disobedience can undermine the rule of law. By operating within the framework of democracy, as did Senator Joseph McCarthy's supporters, students can influence government action and contribute to the strengthening of favorable candidates. 44 pp.

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