Chapter 15: Civic Engagement
by Maria J. Albo
This chapter will identify and explain how various forms of political participation influence government policy and facilitate an engaged citizenry. By offering comparisons of “engaged” vs. “duty based” citizenship, students will be guided through the process of political engagement from voting, through contacting elected officials, and other examples of grassroots democracy. Finally, the link between the Internet and engaged citizenship for the Millennial generation will be discussed.
Chapter 15: Civic Engagement
- Electoral participation
- Political awareness
- Civic activity
Table 15.1: Types of Political Participation
Virtually never vote and are not involved in political matters.
Inactives are typically minorities, women, the young, and individuals with low socioeconomic status.
Vote regularly but have little participation in other aspects of political life.
Voting specialists are generally older and have strong ties to a political party.
Do not typically vote or engage in political matters but may seek government intervention on a special issue. Generally highly involved in local community matters.
Parochial Participants tend to be minorities and citizens of low socioeconomic status.
Do not vote regularly but are highly engaged in group and community activities aimed at solving social problems.
Communalists are usually of high socioeconomic status, white, Protestant, and well educated.
Vote regularly and are highly engaged in campaign activity. Highly partisan and very interested in political matters.
Campaigners are typically well educated, white and middle to high socioeconomic status.
Vote regularly and are deeply involved in all aspects of social and political life.
Complete activists are typically well educated, white, and middle to high socioeconomic status.
Test Your Knowledge
Individuals who vote regularly and are highly engaged in campaign activity.
Individuals who do not vote regularly but are highly engaged in group and community activities aimed at solving social problems.
Model of citizenship that stresses conformity and adherence to social norms while promoting basic political activities such as registering with a political party and voting in all elections.
Model of citizenship that stresses an active role in politics and local communities beyond simply voting.
Individuals who do not vote regularly or engage in political matters but may seek government intervention on a specific issue.
A person’s sense of being able to accomplish something politically
The desires, wants, and mindset of the majority of the people at a point in time.
One’s social position based predominantly on an individual’s education, income and career
Individuals who do not vote regularly with strong ties to a political party but have little participation in other aspects of political life.
For Further Reading
Please see Chapter 15 References on pages 453-456 of the textbook for primary sources and readings.
News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016 By Jeffrey Gottfried & Elisa Shearer.
Republican Lawmakers Face Hostile Town-Hall Crowds by Clare Foran.