Student Movement in Portugal Throughout the ’60s: Actors’ Representations of a Period of Social and Cultural Experimentation

Joaquim António de Sousa Pintassilgo, Alda Namora de Andrade, Carlos Alberto da Silva Beato


The Portuguese university student movement was very active during the so-called «long ’60s» (also the final phase of Estado Novo) and took on a major role in the opposition to the regime. While the wide range of events and international mobilizations resulting from a large increment in youth activism was an important source of inspiration to the Portuguese students, it is equally certain that specific elements in the national context contributed to the characteristics that the movement came to assume. Specifically, we are referring to the regime’s authoritarianism and to the intense repression it unleashed, as well as to the resistance to the colonial war. At the same time, the strong moral, cultural, and artistic conservatism of that period is questioned, which led to the development of alternative behaviours and cultural practices, echoing those of the «May 1968» (Bebiano, 2003). The research underlying this work aims to capture the representations constructed by some of the actors who lived this moment of experimentation, who were then young university students; and to reflect on the contribution of these forms of social participation for the construction of a democratic society in the ’70s. In addition to the necessary literature review, we resort to a set of interviews with people who attended the University of Lisbon in the transition from the ’60s to the ’70s. Therefore, we will take as an example the Lisbon university setting.


Student movements; «Long ’60s»; «Academic crisis»; social participation; totalitarianism; colonial war

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DOI prefix: 10.14516/ete


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