If we measure civic engagement in terms of voting, participation in political conversations and performance on standardized tests, it’s likely that we’re failing to measure a great deal of activity many of us would define as civic participation. The same young person who doesn’t vote may be engaged in passionate conversations, online and offline, about libertarianism or about the Occupy movement. He may be boycotting conflict minerals, or organizing a campaign to support the local food co-op. She may be part of a social media campaign to call attention to conflicts in central Africa, or making viral videos to support the DREAM Act. It’s also quite possible that he or she is apolitical, disinterested and disengaged. But we’re making a mistake if we assume that voting behavior or attendance at political rallies is a good proxy for civic engagement.
Monday, March 4, 2013
Wondering about civics?
We've had civics come up at two School Committee meetings in a row. If you're wondering why I've said (and voted) some of how I have, you should read this: