Student Unrest on Four Continents:
Montreal, Ibadan, Warsaw, and Rangoon 1
GEORGE Z. F. BEREDAY
Student unrest has now assumed the proportions of a world phenomenon and the speculation as to its causes continues to be lively. Many discussions are concerned with what could be described as "horizontal" causes, that is to say, cleavages between viewpoints of generations, between parents and children, or between members of the gerontocracies, the older groups in power and the "angry young men" of the "new frontier." This chapter will attempt to deal with "vertical" cleavages, which could best be described as tensions not between generations but between groups, not as unrest derived from the sense that something is wrong with the world, but a sense of threat from other contemporary groups to one's interests within this world. When Berkeley students condemn the war in Vietnam, they are in the former, "cosmic," category; when Alabama students protest racial integration, they are in the latter category.
The distinction between horizontal and vertical alienation, however, cannot always be as neat as might be wished for. Often the two appear together as part of the same student explosion. It is impossible in most instances to avoid fuzziness and overlapping. Thus some students may protest the war in Vietnam not because they think their elders morally wrong, but because they fear being drafted, a narrower, personal reason. Others may resist integration not because they fear the immediate Negro contact and competition, but because race equality violates their wider historic notions of what is just and right, a "horizontal" reason. Such overlaps make discussion difficult, but in a sense also justify it. The question that this review will ultimately lead to is: Are the "big wrongs" in themselves sufficient to
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Publication information: Book title: Student Politics. Contributors: Seymour Martin Lipset - Editor. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1967. Page number: 97.
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