Work, Love, and Dissent: Activist Participation in the Transition to Adulthood Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Horowitz, Jonathan
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • What happens to activists in the transition out of college? I collect longitudinal, mixed-methods data on 192 social justice activists across 15 separate colleges and universities and over a span of four years to answer this question. I find that declines in organizational opportunity are most responsible for declining activism; that the characteristics of college experience play a substantial role in shaping post-college activist pathways; and that activism is both honored and discouraged by worried friends and family members. The findings further suggest that structural factors play a much more important role in mobilization than biographical availability, that the types of people who enter into paid and volunteer pathways are distinct from each other, and that conceptions of “social norms” are inadequate to capture the effects of social influence. These studies shows that social movements researchers can benefit from integrating life course principles and approaches into their research. Additionally, life course researchers should strongly consider studying unusual behaviors like activism, as the current focus on family, work, and health have led to limited theoretical conceptions of many life course phenomena.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Caren, Neal
  • Pearce, Lisa D.
  • Shanahan, Michael
  • Andrews, Kenneth
  • Mouw, Ted
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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