Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Kanthie Athukorala


The research presented in this paper assesses students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of grassroots organizing to encourage activism amongst their peers. This qualitative study examined how students value and define grassroots organizing and political activism both broadly and specifically in their own work. One student completed the research as a requirement for her M.A. in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management.

This study was conducted with the purpose of identifying students’ understanding of grassroots organizing and political activism to increase understanding of students’ perceptions of the culture of contemporary student activism. The methodology comprised of four one-on-one interviews, two focus groups, one group observation, and one survey. All transcriptions were coded and analyzed. The researcher discovered students shared an understanding and value of grassroots organizing, but possessed disparate attitudes towards political activism. In applying it to their individual and collective work, students highly valued the process of grassroots organizing for its effectiveness, but did not always relate organizing to activism.


Politics and Social Change