The Importance of Political Context for Understanding Civic Engagement: A Longitudinal Analysis

The Importance of Political Context for Understanding Civic Engagement: A Longitudinal Analysis We contend that political context is important to consider when analyzing social capital and that context has an important but neglected impact on understanding the consequences of civic activity. Our focus is on the influence of rural, local leadership in two Minnesota communities and policies that these elites have developed to bring Internet connectivity to their citizens. One city developed a community electronic network and the other opted for an individualistic, entrepreneurial approach to information technology. Using a quasi-experimental research design and four-wave panel data, we find that elite policy approaches interact with civic activity to predict technology use among citizens, even long after the policies’ initial implementation. In the city with a community network, residents who are integrated into civic life are able to harness these political resources to become more technologically sophisticated. Political Behavior Springer Journals

The Importance of Political Context for Understanding Civic Engagement: A Longitudinal Analysis

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
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