Civic Engagement in American Democracy

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Theda Skocpol, Morris P. Fiorina
Brookings Institution Press, 13.05.2004 - 420 Seiten

American democracy is in many ways more vital than ever before. Advocacy groups proliferate and formerly marginalized groups enjoy new opportunities. But worrisome trends exist. Millions of Americans are drawing back from involvements with community affairs and politics. Voters stay home; public officials grapple with distrust or indifference; and people are less likely to cooperate on behalf of shared goals. Observers across the spectrum of opinion agree that it is vital to determine what is happening and why—so that Americans can take well-informed, effective steps to revitalize our national community. The book opens with an eagle-eye look at the roots of America's special patterns of civic engagement, examining the ways social groups and government and electoral politics have influenced each other. Other chapters examine the impact of advocacy groups and socioeconomic inequalities on democratic processes and probe the influence of long-term social and cultural changes on voluntary associations and civic participation. The book concludes by asking why social liberation has been accompanied by new inequalities and the erosion of many important forms of citizen leverage and participation. Coming together from several disciplines, contributors include Jeffrey M. Berry, Henry E. Brady, John Brehm, Steven Brint, Elisabeth S. Clemens, Peter Dobkin Hall, Wendy M. Rahn, Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Robert Wuthnow. Copublished with the Russell Sage Foundation

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Inhalt

Making Sense of the Civic Engagement Debate
1
How Americans Became Civic
27
Organizational Repertoires and Institutional Change Womens Groups and the Transformation of American Politics 18901920
81
National Elections as Institutions for Generating Social Capital
111
Professions and Civic Engagement Trends in Rhetoric and Practice 18751995
163
Vital Signs Organizational Population Trends and Civic Engagement in New Haven Connecticut 18501998
211
Social Change and Civic Engagement The Case of the PTA
249
Technological Change and Associational Life
297
Mobilizing Civic Engagement The Changing Impact of Religious Involvement
331
The Rise of Citizen Groups
367
Extreme Voices A Dark Side of Civic Engagement
395
Civic Participation and the Equality Problem
427
Advocates without Members The Recent Transformation of American Civic Life
461
Contributors
511
Index
515
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Seite 154 - Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can't be too careful in dealing with people?
Seite 163 - Americans of all ages, all stations in life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations. There are not only commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but others of a thousand different types — religious, moral, serious, futile, very general and very limited, immensely large and very minute.
Seite 212 - Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive.
Seite 241 - An association consists simply in the public assent which a number of individuals give to certain doctrines ; and in the engagement which they contract to promote in a certain manner the spread of those doctrines.
Seite 390 - Dahl, for example, describes the "normal American political process" as one in which there is a high probability that an active and legitimate group in the population can make itself heard effectively at some crucial stage in the process of decision.
Seite 122 - Eagerness to be elected may, for the moment, make particular men fight each other, but in the long run this same aspiration induces mutual helpfulness on the part of all; and while it may happen that the accident of an election estranges two friends, the electoral system forges permanent links between a great number of citizens who might otherwise have remained forever strangers to one another. Liberty engenders particular hatreds, but despotism is responsible for general indifference. The Americans...
Seite 311 - I've lived here all my life, but I sure do want to go again. Then we went to [the YMCA camp] and had our chicken dinner. It's a fine thing for people to get out that way on Sundays. No question about it. They see different things and get a larger outlook." "Did you miss church ?
Seite 83 - was the first question asked of any organization of women, and if it was not the making of garments, or the collection of funds for a church or philanthropic purpose, it was considered unworthy of attention, or injurious doubts were thrown upon its motives.

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Über den Autor (2004)

Theda Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University and author of Boomerang: Health Reform and the Turn Against Politics (Norton, 1996), and Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States (Harvard, 1992) which won five scholarly awards. Morris P. Fiorina is professor of political science and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and author of Congress—Keystone of the Washington Establishment (Yale, 1977, 1989), Retrospective Voting in American National Elections (Yale, 1981), and Divided Government (Macmillan, 1992, Allyn & Bacon, 1995).

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