Student Politics in Chile

Student Politics in Chile

Student Politics in Chile

Student Politics in Chile

Excerpt

In mid-1956 the author of the study reported in Part I of this volume went to Chile with the intent of partially documenting the proposition that the student movement in Latin America was succumbing to the twentieth century trend among youth organization toward bureaucratization, integration with and submission to adult-led groups, and self-serving careerism and a narrow preoccupation with student welfare. A few months later the country was rocked by an explosion of public violence set off by politically motivated student protest that precipitated a major government crisis and brought the capital city under martial law. In the ensuing years a new self-assertiveness among young people throughout the world has kept many other social scientists scurrying both to adequately chronicle new events and to locate and interpret youthful activism within the larger context of ongoing social change.

That context itself has changed and with it the priority interests and theoretical preoccupations of those concerned with the role of youth as an organized force in society. A short decade ago the sparse literature on youth movements still focused on the approach to youth of totalitarian or revolutionary regimes bent on total mobilization (Nazi, Soviet, Chinese, Israeli) or on the response of youth to crises (wars and depressions) in capitalist nations. After the great surge of youthful revolt after World War I, youth organizations by and large had grown and operated . . .

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