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Education and Democratic Citizenship in America cover
  • ISBN: 9780226583891
  • ISBN10: 0226583899

Education and Democratic Citizenship in America

by Norman H. Nie

  • List Price: $32.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 08/01/1996
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Norman H. Nie, Jane Junn, and Kenneth Stehlik-Barry explore in this volume the causal relationships between education and democratic citizenship. They argue that citizenship encompasses both political engagement in pursuit of political interests as well as commitment to democratic values that temper what citizens are willing to do to win in politics. Education affects these two dimensions in distinct ways, influencing democratic enlightenment through cognitive proficiency and sophistication, and political engagement through position in social networks. For characteristics of enlightenment, formal education simply adds to the degree to which citizens support and are knowledgeable about democratic principles. But for political engagement, education orders the distribution of social position and connections, creating an inherently uneven political playing field. The authors develop and test this model with data from the 1990 Citizen Participation Study, along with pooled cross-sectional survey data from the National Election Study and the General Social Survey over the last quarter-century. Despite a dramatic increase in educational attainment over this time period, political engagement has not risen at a commensurate level. Instead, as society becomes more educated, it takes more and more education to reach a position in the social hierarchy that facilitates political engagement. Alternatively, the same increases in education in the American mass public have produced a more tolerant and informed citizenry.
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