Socialization to Civil Society: A Life-History Study of Community Leaders

Socialization to Civil Society: A Life-History Study of Community Leaders

by Peter Robert Sawyer
     
 

While many political theorists argue that the problems and failures of American democracy are rooted in the decline of civil society, few examine how American institutions socialize citizens to participate in the voluntary associations that comprise civil society. Peter Robert Sawyer offers a life history approach to explore citizen involvement within one community in… See more details below

Overview

While many political theorists argue that the problems and failures of American democracy are rooted in the decline of civil society, few examine how American institutions socialize citizens to participate in the voluntary associations that comprise civil society. Peter Robert Sawyer offers a life history approach to explore citizen involvement within one community in upstate New York. Sawyer’s informants model enlightened self-interest and participate actively in their community’s voluntary associations. Their life histories, revealed in rich narrative, tell us how they think about political life and how various agents of socialization—family, peers, school, church, community, media, workplace, and voluntary associations themselves—influence their commitment. The results of this study provide some interesting revelations about how to construct government, corporate, education, and family institutions to encourage civic participation and to maintain the overall health of civil society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791461860
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
212
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.58(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface

1: Strengthening Civil Society

2: Civil Society

Importance of Civil Society to Democracy
History of Civil Society in America
The Creation of Meaning and Civil Society

3: Engaging Citizens in Civil Society

Explaining Involvement in Civil Society
Political Socialization
Conclusion

4: Researching Engaged Citizens in Civil Society

Community Site Selection
Research Approach
Subject Selection
Interviews
Interview Schedule
Analyses of Interviews
Design Statement

5: Citizen Models for Civil Society

Values
Virtues and Norms
Concepts and Beliefs Concerning Public Life
Motivations to Involvement in Civil Society
Conclusion

6: Socialization to Civil Society

Childhood Socialization to Civil Society
Adult Socialization to Civil Society
Conclusions

7: Discussion and Conclusions

Focus on Micro-Sociology and Community Politics
Methodology
Facilitating the Health of Civil Society

Appendices

Appendix A: Random Phone Interview Guide
Appendix B: Organizational Representative Interview Guide
Appendix C: Identified Subjects Interview Guide
Appendix D: Subject Biographies
Appendix E: Written Consent Form

Notes

References

Index

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