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Attachment to community and civic and political engagement: a case study of students

Faculty Advisor




political engagement, civic engagement, community attachment, youth

Abstract (summary)

Youth’s low level of civic and political engagement may detrimentally affect the health of communities and the democratic system. This paper examines the role of community attachment in explaining youth’s levels of civic and political engagement. This examination requires an evaluation of existing measures of community attachment and their relevance for understanding youth’s experiences. The paper uses a student sample, highlighting a group of youth who have a degree of variation in their experiences of community attachment. We find that subjective measures of community attachment are related to volunteering and voting, but the objective measure of community attachment, i.e., years of residence, affects voting and not volunteering. Different mechanisms explain civic engagement versus political engagement. As such, different strategies are required to combat low levels of civic versus political engagement.

Publication Information

Boulianne, Shelley, and Michelle Brailey. 2014. "Attachment to Community and Civic and Political Engagement: A Case Study of Students." Canadian Review of Sociology-Revue Canadienne de Sociologie 51(4): 375-388. doi: 10.1111/cars.12052.


Item Type

Article Post-Print




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