Promoting civic engagement could be a way of strengthening the social solidarity of China's urban population. The drastic socio-economic changes resulting from recent economic reform are likely to have a deleterious effect on social solidarity. Based on a survey conducted in 2010 in the Southern China city of Xiamen, this paper examines a specific form of civic engagement - citizen cooperation - to resolve community problems, and assesses its relationship with social capital. The study reveals that discrepancies in the level of civic engagement exist among urban residents and that inequality of social capital plays a significant role in these discrepancies. The findings suggest that such gaps could be addressed by increasing social capital, especially by expanding residents' personal community networks.
Kang Hu and Raymond K. H. Chan
Marie Mahon, Frances Fahy, Micheál Ó Cinnéide, and Brenda Gallagher
The urban-rural fringe in Ireland harbors diverse and often competing visions of place that unfold against a backdrop of rapid physical and socio-economic change. The desire to develop and articulate a shared sense of belonging rooted in place might be reasonably expected to lead to community-level expression through diverse local organizations. These in turn become embedded in wider institutionalized systems of governance. The importance of place vision, and the extent of civic engagement to create and protect such a vision, is the focus of this article. The ongoing and predominantly developer-led transformation of fringe locations has coincided with a shift from government to governance (particularly at local level) and associated changes in power relationships among various stakeholders. This article investigates the extent to which residents of fringe locations perceive themselves as part of local governance processes and explores the implications of such perceptions for citizenship and local democracy.
Contemporary U.S. Girls’ Organizations and the Public Sphere
Jessica K. Taft
This article addresses the growing concern with youth civic engagement by asking how contemporary U.S. girls' organizations envision girls' civic identities. Recent years have seen the growth of girls' organizations that aim to involve girls in their communities. Based on extensive document research and two ethnographic case studies, my analysis distinguishes between this emergent transformative approach and a more widespread, normative model. Transformative organizations engage girls in a sociological analysis of the conditions of their lives, believe that girls should have public authority, and encourage girls' involvement in social change projects. Normative organizations rely upon a psychological understanding of girls' problems, imagine the public as a space of threat and as being full of barriers girls that must learn to overcome, and emphasize service over political action. By comparing these two approaches, this article suggests that scholars and practitioners should carefully consider the implications of organizations for girls' relationship to the public sphere.
Sarah E. Whitney
Theory and Pop Culture , ed. Adrienne Trier-Bienek , 35 – 48 . Boston : Sense Publishers . 10.1007/978-94-6300-061-1_3 Guillaume , Casta , Robert Jagers , and Deborah Rivas-Drake . 2015 . “ Middle School as a Developmental Niche for Civic
This article describes ways rural women and men in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forests created regional and trans-regional institutions to develop and sustain effective environmental governance. It traces their interpretation of political ecology within local realities, based on household concerns centred upon water and food security, and how they came to draw upon global discourse and increased civic participation. The article shows how they created communities of practice that came to define local (and glocal1) sustainability. Their proactive and generative approaches to environmentalism – expressed through actions and institutions – are significant, offering examples of expanded social equity and adaptive resilience in the face of change.
1Glocal is the connectivity and co-presence of local and global people, ideas and institutions.
Action Anthropology against Michigan's Company Town Culture
The article describes my efforts as a public anthropologist/journalist in addressing the official culture of silence in Michigan's colleges, universities and towns regarding Dow Chemical's extensive environmental health pollution and corruption. These sites include Midland, Michigan, home of Dow's international headquarters, and my own residence of East Lansing, site of Michigan State University, the state's largest higher education institution. Both are beneficiaries of Dow largess or philanthropy. This relative silence - which extends to nearly all state media and universities - is remarkable considering the fact that, unlike turn of the century company towns, Dow Chemical operates in a civic culture where thousands of highly educated professionals work in education, government and communications. Democracy is degraded by processes of accumulation, ideology, fear, suppression, conformity, specialization and, importantly, the self-censorship of professionals and academics. With Eriksen (2006) and Hale (2008) I argue for an engaged anthropology where anthropologists step out of their academic cocoons to embrace the local public. This is 'not just a matter of … reaching broader publics with a message from social science … it is a way of doing social science' (Hale 2008: xvii). This case study illustrates how an anthropologist engaged contradictions in order to show how Michigan universities are becoming veritable knowledge factories in service to Eisenhower's feared military-industrial-academic complex.
A Place For Public Action And Civic Engagement in Deliberative Democracy
Steven Douglas Maloney and Joshua A. Miller
In this paper, we argue that deliberative democrats have too narrow a conception of the political, but that 'activism' as it is normally understood is not sufficiently broad, either. Politics is not reducible to coercion and contestation, but rather to the constitution of our shared world. We contend that active citizenship more often takes the form of working in a rape crisis center or a domestic violence clinic than participating in marches or town meetings.
Girls’ Voices and Civic Engagement in Student Journalism
Piotr S. Bobkowski and Genelle I. Belmas
school grounds, and the programs are not led by school personnel. But there are also school-sponsored and curricular settings in which girls can use media to develop and exercise their voices and practice civic engagement. One school subject suitable to
Mark Sandle, Gary Taylor, and Penny Welch
Geoff Timmins, Keith Vernon and Christine Kinealy (2005) Teaching and Learning History Review by Mark Sandle
Lorraine McIlrath and Iain Mac Labhrainn (eds) (2007) Higher Education and Civic Engagement: International Perspectives Review by Gary Taylor
Joanna Bull and Colleen McKenna (2004) Blueprint for Computer-Assisted Assessment Review by Penny Welch
Peter Redman (2006) Good Essay Writing Review by Penny Welch
Katie MacEntee, Lukas Labacher, and John Murray
Young people use activism to advocate for their sexual health rights and to counter the social, political, and environmental threats to their health and well-being. By fully integrating themselves into the process of civic engagement—by incorporating pieces of themselves—youth can bring about successful change. Young community members can use civic engagement to speak out about their perceptions of how they are aff ected by health-related issues or how they are stigmatized by the community. In doing so, they are able to counter the ways in which policymakers, often distanced from the ramifi cations of inadequate social policy, portray the issues (Shucksmith and Hendry 1998). An interactive photo project that took place at the 2010 International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, shows how civic engagement or what we think of as speaking out can move beyond rallies and online video and audio messages directed at policymakers and into the realm of digital photography and body language. Surprisingly, in a digital world in which body language and body parts are continually at risk of being sexualized, this interactive project illustrates how digital photographs of girls’ hands can be used to speak out in a positive, creative, and empowering way about girls’ and young women’s perceptions of sexuality and HIV.