The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service / Edition 4

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Why do so many Americans fail to participate in their communities’ affairs? What role should the citizenry play in our political system? In addressing these concerns, this revised and updated text evaluates the dilemma of participation, civility, and stability at a time when civic indifference is a national problem. In addition to outlining the sources of this indifference, The New Citizenship suggests ways in which Americans can conquer their apathy toward government.

In this fourth edition, author and Dilemmas in American Politics series editor Craig A. Rimmerman provides new material on ACORN, the 2008 presidential election, the Obama presidency, and the impact of these recent events for college students and their conceptions of participation and citizenship.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This readable, engaging book addresses and urgent concern of our times, the decline of participation of college students in the democracy. Readers will come away with insight into both traditional and new forms of democratic participation and their appeal for the next generation. This an invaluable resource for faculty and students interested in American politics, history, social movements and civic engagement. Any faculty member teaching a service-learning course in any discipline will find it helpful for thinking through their course strategy and for civic reflection with their students.”
Elizabeth L. Hollander, Executive Director, Campus Compact

“A helpful first step in making political science courses relevant to our students once again. It is definitely worth considering for classroom adoption.”
American Political Science Review

"Craig Rimmerman is among the few political scientists who both examine problems and offer solutions. The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service draws upon the insights of political theorists and practitioners, assesses present-day participatory democracy, and offers recommendations for its improvement. This is a book that invites readers to learn - and then to take action."
— MaryAnne Borrelli, Director, Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, Connecticut College

"At few times in our history have we needed more understanding of the relationship of citizenship to a healthy democracy as we do now. Craig Rimmerman has done a masterful job in challenging us to think about the means to citizenship, but more importantly, the ends of sustained and enlightened civic engagement."
— Suzanne W. Morse, Ph.D., Executive Director, Pew Partnership for Change

Rimmerman, who has tested his book in his undergraduate political science courses at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, writes with clarity and urgency as he assesses "the various ways citizens do and do not participate in their communities and in American politics." The New Citizenship of the title is Rimmerman's extension of the New Democracy vision of the 1960s. He introduces the concept by describing its theoretical basis, the prevalence of civic indifference in American politics, the basis for New Citizenship in the civil rights movement, the Me generation, and the challenges New Citizenship faces. Lists of student organization and Internet sources are included. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813344577
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 7/27/2010
  • Series: Dilemmas in American Politics
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig A. Rimmerman is professor of public policy and political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and editor of Westview’s Dilemmas in American Politics series. His books include The Lesbian and Gay Movements (Westview Press).
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Table of Contents

Tables and Illustrations

1 Introduction to the Core Dilemma

2 Theoretical Perspectives on the New Citizenship
The Constitutional Context for Citizen Participation
Political Socialization and Citizenship in American Politics
The Participatory Democratic Tradition
The Critique of the Democratic Theory of Elitism
The Theoretical Basis for the New Citizenship

3 Civic Indifference in Contemporary American Politics
Measuring Civic Indifference
American Youth and Civic Indifference
Sources of Citizen Activism

4 Civility, Stability, and Foundations for the New Citizenship
The Civil Rights Movement and Foundations for the New Citizenship
Challenges to the New Citizenship

5 Contemporary Reflections on the New Citizenship
The Me Generation
New Citizenship Components

6 Service Learning and the New Citizenship
Critical Education for Citizenship and Educational Approaches
The Clinton National Service Proposal and the Case for Service Learning
The Critique of Service
Civic Indifference and the New Citizenship

Appendix 1: The Federalist No. 10
Appendix 2: Organizations for Political, Social, and Economic Change
Discussion Questions
About the Book and Author

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