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Education and Democratic Citizenship in America

Formal education is crucial for creating enlightened and active citizens. The better educated are more engaged, more knowledgeable, and more politically tolerant. Despite a dramatic increase in education attainment over the last quarter century, political engagement has not risen at a commensurate level. How and why education affects citizenship in these ways has until now been a puzzle.

Norman H. Nie, Jane Junn, and Kenneth Stehlik-Barry provide answers by uncovering the causal relationship between education and democratic citizenship. They argue that citizenship encompasses both political engagement in pursuit of interests and commitment to democratic values that temper what citizens can do to win in politics. Education affects the two dimensions in distinct ways. Especially significant is the influence of education on political engagement through occupational prominence and position in social networks. Formal education orders the distribution of social position and connections and creates an uneven political playing field.

290 pages | 33 line drawings, 44 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1996

Education: Education--Economics, Law, Politics

Political Science: American Government and Politics

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables
1: Education and Democratic Citizenship in America: Enlightened Political
2: Enlightened Political Engagement: Characteristics of Democratic
Citizenship and Their Relationship to Education
3: What Links Education to Enlightened Political Engagement? Cognitive and
Positional Pathways
4: Integrating and Testing the Model
5: Confirming the Enlightenment and Political Engagement Dimensions
6: Reconceptualizing Educational Effects
7: Education and Democratic Citizenship from the 1970’s to the 1990’s:
Defining and Operationalizing the Measures
8: Testing Educational Effects Over Time
9: Absolute and Relative Education in Synchronic Studies: Application to
Cross-Sectional Surveys
10: Education and Democratic Citizenship in Other Nations: An Exploratory
Comparative Analysis
11: The Future of Education and Democratic Citizenship: Some Implications
of Our Findings
App. A: 1990 Citizen Participation Study Questions
App. B: Weighting Procedures for the 1990 Citizen Participation Study Data
Martin Frankel
App. C: Basic Model by Race and Gender
App. D: Creating the Political Engagement and Enlightenment Scales
App. E: Nonrecursive Specifications
App. F: Educational Environment and Relative Education Measures
Jean G. Jenkins
App. G: Documentation of the Over Time Data
App. H: Documentation of Unreported Coefficients


American Political Science Association: Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award

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