Disparities in Modes and Content of Civic Engagement: An Analysis Using Data from the Current Population Survey

Kenneth Shores, Sigal Ben-Porath, Michael Jefferson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: We describe disparities in civic engagement along two axes: the modal, describing the extent to which civic engagement is structured, and its content, describing the extent to which civic engagement has partisan objectives. Accordingly, this structure creates four domains of civic engagement: associational–partisan (e.g., voting), social–partisan (e.g., boycotting), associational–civic (e.g., participating in parent–teacher organizations), and social–civic (e.g., talking with neighbors). Method: Using data from the Current Population Survey and item response theory methods, we generate civic engagement scores in each of these domains for as many as 35,618 U.S. respondents. Results and Conclusions: Similar to prior studies, income and educational attainment are associated with large disparities in civic engagement across all domains. However, in contrast to prior studies, young Americans are not outpacing older Americans in social–partisan engagement; rather, older Americans are more engaged in every sector of engagement we measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-255
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Volume101
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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