Students and Youth Defiance


Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter addresses how students have been one of the main sources of defiant scripts. it examines the university and its discontents. The university is an exalted institution with its pressures and role in regenerating elites and power, with its contested spaces and issues, gives us an ‘in’ for three reasons. This is where the philosophical and sociological reflections have occurred as it has been the space where young people think and take on the world. It has been also the marker in most accounts of a shift in cultural formation, with Paris 1968 squatting on world history’s pedestal, but finally, it is the very same student upsurges that created the tear and then the cultural panic that galvanized the neoconservative counter-revolution. Many democrats and socialists have painted Ronald Reagan as buff, but the truth is far from it: after a close reading of his rise in California, we realized it had the student movement as its alibi, and neoliberalism was not his only strategy. The chapter reflects on these issues as much of the more contemporary disquiet was happening on our campuses. So, from simple dialogues and disagreements, the chapter became a point of tension between its principal authors and a new generation of senior student activists from Palestine, Pakistan and India. Egyptian, Spanish and South African students were there to start with but the actual conflicts and polarizations they were dealing with took over.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSCRIPTING DEFIANCE: Four Sociological Vignettes.
Subtitle of host publicationTulika Press/ Columbia University Press
EditorsAri Sitas, Nicos Trimikliniotis, Sumangala Damodaran, Amrita Pande, Wiebke Keim
Place of PublicationIndia, New Delhi
PublisherTulika Press/ Columbia University Press
Number of pages39
ISBN (Print)978-81-950559-1-3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • students
  • scripts of defiance
  • radicalism
  • neoconservatism
  • Paris 1968
  • Polytechneion
  • revolution
  • youth


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