“The Whole Weight of the World on My Shoulders”: Power, Identity, and Student Activism

Chris Linder, Stephen John Quaye, Terah J. Stewart, Wilson Kwamogi Okello, Ricky Ericka Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Using a critical framework and narrative inquiry, we highlight the experiences of 26 student activists engaged in identity-based activism and resistance. Specifically, we sought to examine the role of power and identity in activists’ efforts to address inequities in campus environments. Identity-based activism and resistance includes efforts to interrupt oppressive environments related to one or more of a students’ minoritized identities. Themes from this study include existence as resistance as a form of activism, nuanced understandings of the label activist, and activism as a response to hostile campus environments. We conclude with recommendations for educators and administrators, specifically challenging them to consider their roles in perpetuating power and dominance that requires students to engage in activism on their campuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-542
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of College Student Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of '“The Whole Weight of the World on My Shoulders”: Power, Identity, and Student Activism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this