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Why Do Students Strike? Direct and Indirect Determinants of Collective Action Participation



The current project investigated affective and strategic determinants of participation in collective actions by taking a multidimensional approach to collective identity (see Cameron, 2004) and investigating rational decision-making processes. A field study was conducted during an important student strike within the Canadian province of Quebec. One hundred and eighty four students attending the province's postsecondary francophone institutions participated in the study. Path modeling was used to investigate two channels to collective action participation. A direct path involved the affective dimensions of identification. An indirect strategic path revealed that pro-action arguments allowed individuals to derive instrumental value, which in turn led them to participate in collective actions. This indirect influence only occurred at higher self-control. The results and their implications for understanding participation in collective actions during social movements are discussed.