I approach student activism as an academic sociologist motivated by the question of why students, as a group, seem so often to be involved in political struggles around the world, compared with other social groups, and why, as some of my own work suggests, the process of going to university seems to have a politicising effect upon some. Students are more prone to become involved in political struggles of various kinds than many of their contemporaries.
Numerous writers, from Marx onwards, have suggested that urbanisation was a major factor in the growth of social movements and of the Labour movement in particular during the early nineteenth century. Urbanisation had this effect because it drew large groups of individuals with similar interests together, allowing them to form networks and thereby to influence one another, organise and mount collective actions. I am suggesting that university campuses have a similar effect. And long may they do so.