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Community Service and Social Responsibility in Youth

James Youniss and Miranda Yates present a sophisticated analysis of community service’s beneficial effects on adolescents’ political and moral identity.

Using a case study from a predominantly Black, urban high school in Washington, D.C., Youniss and Yates build on the insights of Erik Erikson on the social and historical nature of identity development. They show that service at a soup kitchen as part of a course on social justice gives youth the opportunity to reflect on their status in society, on how society is organized, on how government should use its power, and on moral principles related to homelessness and poverty. Developing a sense of social responsibility and a civic commitment, youth come to see themselves as active agents in society.

The most authoritative work to date on the subject, this book challenges negative stereotypes of contemporary adolescents and illustrates how youth, when given the opportunity, can use their talents for social good. It will interest readers concerned with the development of today’s youth and tomorrow’s society.

193 pages | 8 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1997

Education: Education--General Studies

Psychology: Social Psychology

Table of Contents

Ch. 1: Service for Today’s Youth and for the Right Reasons
Ch. 2: Social-Historical Identity: A Theoretical Framework for Service
Ch. 3: Community Service at St. Francis High School
Ch. 4: Getting to Know Homelessness
Ch. 5: Forming a Political Habit
Ch. 6: A Moral Gyroscope
Ch. 7: On Being a Black American
Ch. 8: The Continuing Identity Process: After High School
Ch. 9: Ten Ideas for Designing and Implementing Community-Service Programs
Ch. 10: Identities in the Making

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