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Responsibility to Protest: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Motives for Protest Participation in Myanmar

Why do people protest in contexts known for violent suppression and imprisonment of protesters? Psychological research is lacking on protest participation in repressive contexts. We addressed this gap by asking how individuals in Myanmar understood their motives for participating inprotest march against the enactment of the National Education Law (NEL). The law was perceived to limit academic freedom and centralize control over education policy. The police responded by violently cracking down on the protesters.

Publisert i Forskningspublikasjoner Mandag 4. oktober, 2021 - 18:54 | sist oppdatert Mandag 4. oktober, 2021 - 19:05

Forskere: Trude Stapnes, Erik Carlquist og Cindy Horst.


Applying interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to semistructured interview data from protesters in Myanmar, we identify four main themes in answer to the research question. First, the participants perceived the protest as important for making crucial change in an unjust law. Second, the participants had developed a student activist identity, rooted in a long tradition of student activism in Myanmar. Third, participants expressed a strong sense of responsibility to take part in the protest. And fourth, the participants described an expectation to achieve change, despite considerations of possible repressive and violent responses from authorities. These results add perspectives to existing psychological research and theory on protest participation. The present study also complements conventional deductive research designs, which use preexisting universal variables to quantitatively test hypotheses. Instead, we offer inductively gained insights into how individuals phenomenologically made sense of their motives for participating in protest within a particular sociopolitical context. We argue that the strongly felt responsibility to participate that individuals experience is a topic that requires further study.

Les hele artikkelen her:

'Responsibility to protest: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of motives for protest participation in Myanmar'. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, May 07, 2020

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