We Fight To Win: Inequality and the Politics of Youth Activism

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Overview

In an adult-dominated society, teenagers are often shut out of participation in politics. We Fight to Win offers a compelling account of young people's attempts to get involved in community politics, and documents the battles waged to form youth movements and create social change in schools and neighborhoods.

Hava Rachel Gordon compares the struggles and successes of two very different youth movements: a mostly white, middle-class youth activist network in Portland, Oregon, and a working-class network of minority youth in Oakland, California. She examines how these young activists navigate schools, families, community organizations, and the mainstream media and employ a variety of strategies to make their voices heard on some of today's most pressing issues-war, school funding, the environmental crisis, the prison industrial complex, standardized testing, corporate accountability, and educational reform. We Fight to Win is one of the first books to focus on adolescence and political action and deftly explore the ways that the politics of youth activism are structured by age inequality as well as race, class, and gender.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"Well researched, the book challenges readers to rethink the involvement and engagement of youth in society. Highly recommended."
Social Forces - Kraig Beyerlein

"This book provides much insight into youth activism. We Fight to Win is written in lively prose and demonstrates that many youth are determined to engage inactivism to live out their convictions, even when adults attempt to stand in their way. I highly recommend it."
author of Fast Car, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars - Amy L. Best

"Gordon successfully broadens our understanding of the salience of age as it is ordered by race, class, and gender to the formation of political consciousness, political action, civic engagement and participation in social movements. She makes visible the rich dimensions involved in understanding how youth come to participate in the public sphere and in social movement, but also how forces conspire to preclude such participation."
Social Forces
This book provides much insight into youth activism. We Fight to Win is written in lively prose and demonstrates that many youth are determined to engage inactivism to live out their convictions, even when adults attempt to stand in their way. I highly recommend it.— Kraig Beyerlein
Choice
Well researched, the book challenges readers to rethink the involvement and engagement of youth in society. Highly recommended.
Social Forces
This book provides much insight into youth activism. We Fight to Win is written in lively prose and demonstrates that many youth are determined to engage inactivism to live out their convictions, even when adults attempt to stand in their way. I highly recommend it.— Kraig Beyerlein
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813546704
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Series: The Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 1,133,508
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Hava Rachel Gordon is an assistant professor in the department of sociology and criminology at the University of Denver.
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Table of Contents


Introduction
Chapter One The Development of Urban Teenage Activism
Chapter Two Reading, Writing, and Radicalism
Chapter Three Allies Within and Without
Chapter Four Toward Youth Political Power in Oakland
Chapter Five Toward Youth Political Power in Portland
Chapter Six Gendering Political Power
Conclusion
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