Rebecca E. Klatch

in A Generation Divided

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780520217133
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520922341 | DOI:

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This chapter explains that the unique intersect of the left and the right speaks to the peculiarities of American political ideology in which suspicion of authority, opposition to government, and the ideals of individual freedom, decentralization, and community control are core values for segments of both left and right. It notes that the late 1970s and 1980s witnessed the triumph of YAF as their members and the philosophy of the organization swept Washington and captured the spirit of the times. The chapter shows that the transformations activists went through as a result of their participation not only creates bonds among YAF and SDS members but also inevitably links activists across ideology. Participation in social movements of the 1960s was a transformative experience, offering a realization of self and a way to affirm identity.

Keywords: American political ideology; left; right; activists; individual freedom; decentralization; community control; Washington; social movements; identity

Chapter.  1652 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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