Student activism, just like any social movement, cycles through times of great excitment and visibility and times of near invisibility. The early 21st Century has been filled with new social movements in communities across the world and on campuses as well. These new student movements take up bold ideas and actions but from a different positionality than those before. In this paper, I explore the nature of new student movements in California through an ongoing ethnographic research project. In particular, this paper focuses on how student groups are using their identities and material experiences to draw on positionality in their work for justice. By positioning themselves outside of traditional student organizational relationships with universities, these student activists come from a position of greater freedom. But at what cost?
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