Date of Award

5-22-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Joanna Zangrando

Second Reader

Holley Hodgins

Abstract

There are many worthwhile endeavors in life: finding cures for diseases, raising children, creating art and music, taking care of the elderly, cleaning the environment, teaching the young and many more. There is also political activism, which can take many forms: protesting, letter writing and more costly or risky activities. What is activism? According to the 4th edition of Webster's New World College Dictionary(2005), it is "the doctrine or policy of taking positive, direct action to achieve an end, esp. a political or social end" (p. 14). While the results of political activism can be crucial for us all, it is practiced by few. Many good people do not get involved in political protest or other forms of activism, for many reasons. But, while talking about these non-participants, an activist argued that "you have to realize that this apathy .... and these various forms of giving up are in fact forms of cowardice .... [they] are fooling themselves, [because] to not choose is to choose .... The fact is, our lives are connected [to each other's], and we either get political or we suffer for it" (Teske, 1997, p. 109).

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