Civic Engagement in American Democracy

Civic Engagement in American Democracy

by Theda Skocpol
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0815728093

ISBN-13: 9780815728092

Pub. Date: 08/28/1999

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

American democracy is in many ways more vital than ever before. Advocacy groups proliferate and formerly marginalized groups enjoy new opportunities. But worrisome trends exist. Millions of Americans are drawing back from involvements with community affairs and politics. Voters stay home; public officials grapple with distrust or indifference; and people are less

Overview

American democracy is in many ways more vital than ever before. Advocacy groups proliferate and formerly marginalized groups enjoy new opportunities. But worrisome trends exist. Millions of Americans are drawing back from involvements with community affairs and politics. Voters stay home; public officials grapple with distrust or indifference; and people are less likely to cooperate on behalf of shared goals. Observers across the spectrum of opinion agree that it is vital to determine what is happening and why—so that Americans can take well-informed, effective steps to revitalize our national community. The book opens with an eagle-eye look at the roots of America's special patterns of civic engagement, examining the ways social groups and government and electoral politics have influenced each other. Other chapters examine the impact of advocacy groups and socioeconomic inequalities on democratic processes and probe the influence of long-term social and cultural changes on voluntary associations and civic participation. The book concludes by asking why social liberation has been accompanied by new inequalities and the erosion of many important forms of citizen leverage and participation. Coming together from several disciplines, contributors include Jeffrey M. Berry, Henry E. Brady, John Brehm, Steven Brint, Elisabeth S. Clemens, Peter Dobkin Hall, Wendy M. Rahn, Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Robert Wuthnow. Copublished with the Russell Sage Foundation

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815728092
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Publication date:
08/28/1999
Pages:
540
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
1440L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsvii
1Making Sense of the Civic Engagement Debate1
Part 1Between State and Society: Roots of American Civic Engagement
2How Americans Became Civic27
3Organizational Repertoires and Institutional Change: Women's Groups and the Transformation of American Politics, 1890-192081
4National Elections as Institutions for Generating Social Capital111
Part 2Civic Life in a Changing Society
5Professions and Civic Engagement: Trends in Rhetoric and Practice, 1875-1995163
6Vital Signs: Organizational Population Trends and Civic Engagement in New Haven, Connecticut, 1850-1998211
7Social Change and Civic Engagement: The Case of the PTA249
8Technological Change and Associational Life297
9Mobilizing Civic Engagement: The Changing Impact of Religious Involvement331
Part 3The Ironies of Contemporary Activism
10The Rise of Citizen Groups367
11Extreme Voices: A Dark Side of Civic Engagement395
12Civic Participation and the Equality Problem427
13Advocates without Members: The Recent Transformation of American Civic Life461
Contributors511
Index515

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