This paper gives a critical analysis of the Hava Rachel Gordon’s 248 page We Fight to Win: Inequality and the Politics of Youth Activism which was published by the New Brunswick Books in 2009. However, more concentration will be done o chapter two: Reading, Writing and Radicalism: the Politics of Youth Activism on School Grounds. Here, Rachel explores how the youths are not given a space in the community politics because of their minor age.
On realizing this, they come together to form political movement groups in which they fight for a common goal of liberating the society from the perceived evils. Despite the good motive, they find themselves engulfed in the societal segregate situation that compels them to forming such groupings based on their race, class, gender and age. As she reports, this can be attested from the formation of the Students Rise up (SRU) and the Youth Power (YP) in Oregon and California respectively. Whereas the SRU was exclusively for the white middle class teenagers, the YP was more dynamic and advocated for the multiracial plights like violence.
The arguments presented by this author are making sense to me because they clearly show the perverse conducts of the school going children in any part of the world today. As she says, they are so rebellious, discriminative and impatient to be fully fledged into the adult class with full rights and privileges to enjoy (Brown, B., et al, 2000). His assumption of segregation is proved right when we see the two splinter groups openly emerge with racial agenda. This is why they are scornfully treated by the larger sector of the population because they were destined for failure.
Questions to be discussed by my peers
1. What were the reasons for the formation of YP?
2. What were the differences between the YP and SRU?
3. In your own words, explain what the author meant by the term citizens-in-making.
4. Give two reasons why adolescents are rebellious.
Important terms from the book
1. Social movement
4. Young adult
Brown, B. et al (2000) At the threshold: The developing adolescent. MA: Harvard University