Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 1(3), pp. 175 - 184
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2013.010306
Reprint (PDF) (260Kb)


Engaging Citizens: A Cross Cultural Comparison of Youth Definitions of Engaged Citizenship


Elizabeth M. Goering*
Department of Communication Studies, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, 46202, Indiana, United States

ABSTRACT

In recent years, citizenship, particularly what it means to be an engaged and active citizen, has received considerable attention from researchers and theorists in the field of education. This burgeoning interest is not surprising, given that in most societies educational institutions have been accorded primary responsibility for educating young people to become good citizens. As the debate over what it means to be an active citizen continues, and as educators continue to seek ways to foster civic engagement, it is critical to solicit and include the perspectives of young people. In addition, it is important for researchers to explore the ways in which conceptualizations of citizenship might vary across diverse cultures. Through thematic content analysis of narratives of engaged citizenship generated by young people in Germany and the United States, this paper examines cultural differences in the communicative construction of what it means to be an engaged citizen and explores the implications of those differences for higher education.

KEYWORDS
Engaged Citizenship, Service Learning, Narrative Analysis, Active Citizenship, Civic Engagement

Cite this paper
Elizabeth M. Goering . "Engaging Citizens: A Cross Cultural Comparison of Youth Definitions of Engaged Citizenship." Universal Journal of Educational Research 1.3 (2013) 175 - 184. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2013.010306.