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Does Age Matter? The Effects of Age Composition on Social Movement Success

Student: Claire Miller
Major: Political Science
Minor: Chinese
Advisors: Professor Leiby, Professor Bienvenue
This study examines the relationship between youth membership in social movements and the likelihood of social movement success. First, I hypothesize that age diversity will have a positive effect on the likelihood of campaign success. Then, I hypothesize that movements composed of mostly young people will increase the likelihood that the public see movement members and leaders as bold and inspirational, and as a result, positively impact their likelihood to support the movement. To test the first hypothesis, I conducted various statistical analyses using Chenoweth and Lewis’s NAVCO 2.0 dataset to analyze the relationship between the age diversity of campaigns and campaign success. For the second hypothesis, I conducted a survey experiment to evaluate the relationship between the age composition of social movements and their ability to gain public support. My first hypothesis was not supported. However, part of my second hypothesis was supported, specifically the relationship between the intervening variable, public perception of the movement, and dependent variable, the public’s likelihood of supporting the movement.

Claire will be online to field comments on May 8:
10am-noon EDT (Asia: late evening, PST 6am-8am, Africa/Europe: late afternoon)

Posted in I.S. Symposium, Independent Study.