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The University of Southampton
Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

London May Day demonstration

Eighteen undergraduate and postgraduate Southampton students, mostly studying Politics and International Relations, collected data at the May Day Labour Demonstration in May 2010.

Thirteen students systematically handed out postal surveys and conducted face-to-face questionnaires to demonstrators, whilst another five collected data about the nature of the march - collecting a full list of slogans, chants, speakers and details of organisations present. The survey aims to provide a better understanding of who it is that participates in Labour movement protest. Project partners in Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden conducted the same survey of their own May Day demonstrations. The data will be input into a large European project database, which will soon hold data on over 15 large protests across Europe.

The project would not be able to capture such fabulous data were it not for the contribution of student volunteers. In the future we plan to survey further protest marches on a host of issues, possibly including the Global Marijuana March (July 2010), The Global March of Women (November 2010) and Stop the War demonstrations.

Participating students gain not only the opportunity to observe protesters engaged in active political participation, but also essential research skills and the chance to use resulting data in their BA or MA dissertations.

Audio podcast and student views:

To listen to a podcast featuring Dr Clare Saunders, Lecturer in Politics & International Relations, and hear the view of participating students, please click on the audio player:



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