Social Movements and Youths’ Attitudes

Learning Protest: How National Protest Contexts Influence Adolescents’ View of Unconventional Political participation (with Lee Ann Banaszak and Burcin Tamer)

Political protest has become a normal form of engagement in many countries (Meyer and Tarrow 1997) although the degree to which protest is considered a legitimate form of civic engagement varies both across countries and across individuals within countries. Using a sample of fourteen-year-olds from 20 countries surveyed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) as part of the 1999 Civic Education (CivEd) and 2009 International Civic and Citizenship Education (ICCS) surveys, we seek to understand how national political context – specifically the amount and form of protest in recent years influence young citizens’ attitudes toward participating in protest behavior. We distinguish two different types of protest – non-confrontational and confrontational – and expect some factors to affect each of these differently. We also look at how a history of riots in a country influences youth’s expected future activity. The project expands our understanding of how different forms of civic engagement are learned and contributes to the literature on the cross-national factors that produce protest.

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Learning Gender Equality: Women’s Movement Influence on Youth Attitudes in a Comparative Perspective (with Lee Ann Banaszak and Burcin Tamer)

Comparative analyses of gender role attitudes have largely focused on the characteristics of individuals or national level social characteristics, such as levels of women’s employment (Banaszak and Plutzer 1993; Berggren n.d.; Bohlzendahl and Olafsdottir 2008).  Understudied has been the role which women’s movement activity plays in influencing gender attitudes, even though public battles for women’s equality appear to have led to a sea change in gender role attitudes.  This paper focuses on the gender role attitudes of young people and asks whether protest by women’s movements reported in national news influences young citizens’ gender attitudes.  Using a sample of students in the eighth grade from 15 countries surveyed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) as part of the 1999 Civic Education (CivEd) and event data from the European Protest and Coercion Data, we seek to understand how women’s movement activities shape adolescents’ attitudes toward gender roles.  We utilize multi-level modeling techniques to examine our hypotheses.  We find that when women’s movement protest was reported in the news during the years immediately before the survey is administered support for equal gender roles among adolescents increased.  We also find that young women are more likely to be affected by the existence of a women’s movement.  The paper expands our understanding of how national level contexts of civic engagement influence public opinion and contributes to our understanding of how gender role attitudes develop.

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Proposed Study

Protest in the Classroom: How Teachers and Fellow Students Influence Adolescent Attitudes toward Violent and Non-violent Protest (with Lee Ann Banaszak and Burcni Tamer)