Fall/automne 2010
Articles

Establishing Precedents: Women’s Student Activism and Social Change in the (Canadian) National Union of Students, 1972-1979

Nigel Roy Moses
Lakehead University Orillia Campus
Bio
Published January 7, 2011
Keywords
  • student movements,
  • student organizations,
  • historicity,
  • activism,
  • social movements,
  • social change,
  • organizational change
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How to Cite
Moses, N. (2011). Establishing Precedents: Women’s Student Activism and Social Change in the (Canadian) National Union of Students, 1972-1979. Historical Studies in Education / Revue D’histoire De L’éducation, 22(2). Retrieved from https://historicalstudiesineducation.ca/index.php/edu_hse-rhe/article/view/2152

Abstract

I provide an account of young women’s activism in the (Canadian) National Union of Students from the time that the national student organization reformed in 1972 to the signing of the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Declaration of the Rights of the Woman Student in 1979. I focus on the problems NUS women faced, the solutions and organization structures they devised and how they helped shape and transform the social organization of NUS. Through the lens of social action theory, I identify the social agency of women students in student movements, the knowledge of which has implications for understanding women’s movements and social change processes more generally. By uncovering the social activism of women students, this work makes an important contribution to the historiography of 1970s Canadian women’s movements, which so far has ignored young women’s contributions to the demarginalization of women and the production of society.