Theses Doctoral

Equals, Relatives, and Kin: Growing intergenerational solidarity between youth activists and their adult accomplices

Liou, Aleks Mingsheng

This non-traditional dissertation surfaces how youth activists and their adult accomplices build intergenerational solidarity and challenge age-based power dynamics in their social movement collectives. These questions are investigated from the perspective of 10 youth organizers involved in counterhegemonic organizing movements in the United States, as well as 10 of their chosen adult accomplices.

Through semistructured interviews and participatory multimodal methods, youth and adult organizers demonstrate that their solidarity relationships are forged through establishing trust and safety and processes of demonstrating mutuality and reciprocity. Furthermore, youth and adults navigate and attend to adultism in their organizing by participating in processes of naming power dynamics, checking for consent, and co-creation.

This research contributes to a bottom-up understanding of youth organizing praxis in relation to larger cultural discourses and adultist systems, while identifying practical implications for intergenerational support.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Teaching of Social Studies
Thesis Advisors
Schmidt, Sandra
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 27, 2022