From Impartial to Empowered: An Analysis of the 2011 Chilean Student Movement

Eva Loney

Abstract

After twenty years of relative dormancy, June 2011 saw the explosion of a powerful social movement in Chile. During the following six months, high school and university students representative of all sectors of Chilean society mobilized to create a cohesive movement with the objective of increasing state financing of Chilean education. This paper analyzes the 2011 Chilean student movement in light of a shift in cultural psyche that permitted the emergence of this movement, unprecedented in terms of numerical support and empathy across a well-rounded demographic of Chilean society. Through analysis of self-administered survey results and public opinion data, I explore the repoliticization of Chilean society across several age groups in the context of this extraordinary movement. Results indicate that while the current generation of students is more politically vocal than their elders, societal repoliticization has occurred intergenerationally.   

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