What is civic engagement?
We all know that how we define terms can change how we see and react. So what about civic engagement? Is the definition of this terminology wide or quite narrow?
A paper sets out to compile the terminologies. The paper is titled “What Do We Mean by ‘Civic Engagement?’”
An interesting statement that the authors, Richard P. Adler and Judy Goggin, point out is that while there are about 383,000 citations for ‘civic engagement,’ the definition is quite broad. In fact, we can view the term by these categories:
1. Community Service
Every volunteering service on our community is considered ‘civic engagement.’ For instance, volunteering at shelters in considered civic engagement.
2. Collective Action
Under this categorization, actions that help improve our society is considered civic engagement. This means that voluntary service is not necessarily ‘civic engagement.’ Instead, voluntary service the addresses certain societal issues is considered.
3. Political Involvement
This group further narrows the definition. If we view ‘civic engagement’ as merely political actions, then individuals or groups who take action outside the political process is not ‘civic engagement.’
4. Social Change
Clearly, from these groupings, ‘civic engagement’ consists of a variety of actions. By selecting a certain definition/category, we, citizens, are able to determine whether our actions are considered ‘civic engagement.’ We can also consider whether we have to be more civically engaged.
To see and/or download the paper, you can go to this link: ()