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Sociology professor has new book out on children in social movements

May 4, 2020

NIU Sociology Associate Professor Diane Rodgers has a new book out on the timely topic of children’s participation in social movements.

Diane Rodgers, associate professor from the Department of Sociolgy

The book, “Children in Social Movements: Rethinking Agency, Mobilization and Rights,” is published in the Routledge Advances in Sociology series.

“The book addresses highly relevant issues at this time, given the recent youth climate strike on Earth Day and other protests, such as March for Our Lives by the  #NeverAgain movement,” Rodgers said.

Her new book presents children’s participation in social movements through three main types of participation. The range of participation accounts for the social location of children historically and internationally, calling for their inclusion into social movement research.

Children are unresearched and untheorized participants within social movement literature. Providing rich detail of children’s participation through illustrative case studies, Rodgers’ new book presents the ideal types of participation as grounded in their social movement activity.

Cross-cultural, historical and contemporary case studies include, whenever possible, children’s perspective in their own words. Utilizing insights from childhood studies on agency and rights of children enhances the understanding of social movement strategies and mobilization. Following the chapters on each type of participation, suggestions are provided for rethinking existing social movement theories to acknowledge child participants.

Those interested in understanding activism will appreciate the wide range of case studies presented of children in social movements in this book. Rodgers believes that while awareness of youth activists have grown since Greta Thunberg began her youth climate strikes, the history and scope of involvement by children in many social movements needs to be further recognized.