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Citizens' sense of responsibility to their community and to their nation is becoming a topic of growing concern. Recent research indicates that citizens of the United States and many other nations have become increasingly disconnected from their fellow community members, and when this connection is lost, individuals begin to suffer. They experience poorer health, achieve lower academic and employment success, and are at risk for the development of a host of social problems. On a broader level, states and countries whose citizens feel detached from their communities show higher levels of crime, a greater incidence of disease, and even higher mortality rates. In The Psychology of Citizenship and Civic Engagement, S. Mark Pancer explores the development of civic engagement, the factors that influence its development, and the impacts of civic involvement on the individual, the community, and society. Pancer examines civic engagement over the lifespan and how the effects of early experiences and influences exerted by peers, families, and religious organizations shape adult involvement.By addressing civic engagement from a systemic as well as individual perspective, this book discusses the role that factors such as government policy, culture, and socioeconomic status play in fostering (or inhibiting) a person's civic connections. Pancer also works toward a solution to increase active citizenship by identifying gaps in research and theory and outlining ways in which scholarly work on civic engagement can inform policy and practice, with the aim to foster individuals sense of responsibility and community connection. By bringing together a large body of research from psychology, political science, sociology, education, and public health, Pancer provides readers with a comprehensive account of what science tells us about civic engagement.
Oxford University Press Inc
January 29, 2015
About the author
Dr. S. Mark Pancer is professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has published over 80 articles in a wide range of journals, has contributed chapters to several books, and is co-author of the book Partnerships for Prevention: The Story of the Highfield Community Enrichment Project. Professor Pancer was elected Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association in 1993, in recognition of his contributions to the science and profession of psychology in Canada.
"With this book Mark Pancer has assuredly added the civic and political dimensions to the emerging field of positive psychology. He masterfully weaves together research findings from diverse disciplines to show how a sense of civic engagement and a sound political identity develop. He then shows how these accomplishments lead to healthy individuality and more cohesive and well-functioning communities. A real intellectual treat!" --James Youniss, PhD, Professor Emeritus and Research Professor of Psychology, The Catholic University of America"In this thorough and thoughtful book Mark Pancer explains not only THAT but also WHY civic engagement is beneficial for individuals, organizations, communities, and whole societies. A real contribution to the field."--Connie Flanagan, PhD, Professor of Civil Society and Community Studies, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison"The Psychology of Citizenship and Civic Engagement is an engaging, masterful account of the sources of civic life. Pancer provides