New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service / Edition 3

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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, the text both evaluates the dilemma of participation, civility, and stability at a time when civic indifference is a national problem and outlines its sources, suggesting ways in which Americans can conquer their apathy toward government. This third edition expands the discussion of the internet as an element of the New Citizenship and outlines President George W. Bush's National Service proposals. Finally, the third edition integrates the impact of September 11, 2001 on American civic life, with a particular focus on the consequences of that cataclysmic event for college students and their conceptions of participation and citizenship. Discusses political issues that connect with students, promoting classroom discussion and debate. Presents an even balance of theory and case studies. Emphasizes relevance of activism and participation in government. Updated to include the impact of 9/11 on civic life and President George W. Bush’s national service proposals. Identifies alternative forms of participation (besides voting) seized upon by the citizenry to register discontent with its representative government.

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Editorial Reviews

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: 9780813343099
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 1/26/2005
  • Series: Dilemmas in American Politics Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig A. Rimmerman is professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is the editor of Westview Press's Dilemmas in American Politics series. He is also author of Presidency by Plebiscite: The Reagan-Bush Era in Institutional Perspective, and co-editor with Kenneth A. Wald and Clyde Wilcox of The Politics of Gay Rights.

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Table of Contents

Tables and Illustrations
1 Introduction to the Core Dilemma 1
2 Theoretical Perspectives on the New Citizenship 11
The Constitutional Context for Citizen Participation 13
Political Socialization and Citizenship in American Politics 17
The Participatory Democratic Tradition 18
The Democratic Theory of Elitism Critique 24
The Theoretical Basis for the New Citizenship 27
3 Civic Indifference in Contemporary American Politics 29
Measuring Civic Indifference 32
American Youth and Civic Indifference 40
Sources of Citizen Activism 45
4 Civility, Stability, and Foundations for the New Citizenship 49
The Civil Rights Movement and Foundations for the New Citizenship 52
Challenges to the New Citizenship 63
5 Contemporary Reflections on the New Citizenship 73
The "Me Generation" 76
New Citizenship Components 78
Student Organizations 90
The Internet 93
6 Service Learning and the New Citizenship 97
Critical Education for Citizenship and Educational Approaches 99
The Critique of Service 104
Discussion Questions 115
Glossary 119
Appendix 1 125
Appendix 2 131
References 141
About the Book and Author 147
Index 149
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