Many scholars claim that the current generation of college students tend toward disengagement from political activism. While the explanations focus on macro-level processes, they can be used to make predictions about variations in individual level political engagement. To test these explanations I surveyed by email a simple random sample of four hundred students enrolled at a small Midwestern College in the fall of 2009. My objective was to answer the question: what distinguishes students that become engaged in political advocacy from the counterpart who do not? Analyzing my results through logistic regression generated three significant empirical findings. Students who are currently engaged in volunteer service were found to have an increased likelihood of engaging in political advocacy. Both parents and professors were found to be important sources to generate engagement. Lastly, student’s belief of the relative value of public policy versus community service is mediate by students who are currently engaged in volunteer service. The results confirm, at this small campus, professors, parents and students involved in civic engagement value political advocacy. I propose this implies that political advocacy has evolved since the 1960s and has taken a new form evolving within the current historical context.
Perkins, Jenna M., "Student Political Advocacy: Professors, Parents and Volunteer Service as Key Social Forces" (2009). Award Winning Sociology Papers. Paper 4.
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