A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen

A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen

A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen

A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen

Synopsis

In searching for answers as to why young people differ vastly from their parents and grandparents when it comes to turning out the vote, A New Engagement challenges the conventional wisdom that today's youth is plagued by a severe case of political apathy. In order to understand the current nature of citizen engagement, it is critical to separate political from civic engagement. Using the results from an original set of surveys and the authors' own primary research, they conclude that while older citizens participate by voting, young people engage by volunteering and being active in their communities.

Excerpt

A New Engagement? is about the intersection of two important highways of American political life. The first is the nature of citizen engagement— its amount, quality, and health; the second is the nature of political and societal change through generational differences and population replacement. Our goal in writing this book is to tell a generational tale of citizen engagement at the millennium, focusing largely on those under 40 years of age, using their elders for contrast. We offer a first look at a new generation of citizens, aged 15 to 27, whom we call the DotNets. And we offer the first systematic, comprehensive look at political participation in the post 9/11 era.

Let us state a clear bias at the outset: we believe citizen engagement matters. We believe it is better to be involved than not, and that the transmission of the value of engagement from one generation to the next is the responsibility of all of us. After all, no one spends such time, energy, and money studying a problem they believe to be unimportant. We were motivated to better understand, explain, and hopefully contribute to the reversal of the disconnection of young people from the political process. But while the choice of a research problem is not value-free, the means of studying it must be. In addition to being citizens and teachers, we aspire to be counted as scholars. Though the authors have different backgrounds, we all worship at the altar of empiricism. We strive to make our observations dispassionately, and without regard for what we would like to find.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.