booms & social movements

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Thu Nov 18 14:48:15 PST 1999

On Thu, 18 Nov 1999 10:18:09 -0800 Michael Perelman <michael at> writes:
>On the campus, I can see a tight link between booms and social
>movement. With a
>real boom -- I don't think we have one yet -- students become
>confident. They
>choose majors that are nonutilitarian. They're more ripe for social

The student generation of the 1930s was prone to protests too but that was hardly due to their postgraduation prospects being all that great. I think it more accurate that the protest potential for students is greatest either in boom periods like the '60s where one can feel that one can protest without permanently jeopardizing one's future career prospects or in really bad economic times like the '30s where one's career prospects will be bleak regardless of what one does during college. What one might call garden-variety type recessions seem to do the most to dampen student protests since students calculate that engaging in such protests may well undermine their career prospects upon graduation.

Jim F.

>Today's students are scared and confused. They huddle together in
>majors such as
>business or management information systems -- the big growth major on
>our campus
>Some time ago, we discussed the Kerner Commission's conclusion that
>times were a major contributory factor to the urban uprisings of the
>time. So
>Alan Greenspan stands as a major defender of the status quo in still
>another way.
>Michael Perelman
>Economics Department
>California State University
>michael at
>Chico, CA 95929
>fax 530-898-5901

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