Activism making a comeback

Mar 15, 2018

MT. PLEASANT, MI (MPRN)--   High school and college students across the state and country mobilized Wednesday for walk outs and assemblies to draw attention to school safety and gun violence.

Researchers who study social movements say there has been a trend of Americans pulling away from overt political activism since the 1980’s.

Cherie Strachan is a Central Michigan University Professor who studies youth movements around social justice. She says a book called Good Citizen, written in 1998, argued the trend of disengagement would eventually flip with millenials.  

“The good citizen said ‘Hey, look, they have interest, they have civic skills, they’re going to flip.’ At some point you realize those skills are transferable and you just want the problem solved. So there was a prediction this would happen with millennials,” she says.

Strachan says the Parkland student activists are Generation Z, not millennials, but this may be a part of the flip described in Good Citizen.

Strachan points out if young voters can mobilize they will be hard to ignore.