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Society for Community Research and Action/John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


The literature on contemporary youth organizing has documented psychological benefits associated with participation and some evidence of local political impact. But how do local organizing campaigns transform into regional or national movements? This is a practical question facing youth organizers and one that calls for attention from researchers. In this article, we draw on 3 years of ethnographic fieldwork with South Africa's Equal Education (EE) to analyze collective action frames that enabled EE youth to assert legitimacy and construct shared aims across locales. Our findings focus on how youth constructed historical continuity frames that lent them legitimacy as upholders of the South African freedom struggle and flexible problem frames that linked young people's local struggles, such as inadequate sanitation or broken windows at their schools, to a national policy agenda. We discuss connections to other youth movements and implications for the interdisciplinary youth organizing field.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kirshner, B., Tivaringe, T., & Fernández, J. S. (2020). “This Was 1976 Reinvented:” The role of framing in the development of a South African youth movement. Journal of Community Psychology, 49(8), 3033-3053 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.



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