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ERIC Number: ED203890
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Are We Committed to Change Through Citizen Participation?
McCullough, K. Owen
Two major concerns of American life are searching for community and determining the extent to which the citizenry of a community ought to be involved in the decision-making process. While they may disagree on how much citizen participation is desirable, almost every scholar of urban life believes that citizen participation is a good and viable goal. There are, however, several practical questions and issues involved in attaining it. First, the initial start of citizen participation will require an elite vanguard and will necessarily be undemocratic. Second, the leaders of the group or groups that will be affected by a political decision must be determined. Third, community leadership may not be apparent until a crisis situation develops. Fourth, time and effort must be expended to achieve quality participation and one must ask, how much time and effort people are willing to spend. Fifth, there is a point when participation may become mere meddling and insincere. Not only must the advocate of citizen participation be aware of these considerations when attempting to induce change, he or she must be sensitive to the interplay of elements and processes within each social system and must be aware that participation involves the rights to effective speech, to be wrong, to be different, to influence decision-making, to contribute, to consume with dignity, and to a continuing share in society's burdens and decisions. (AYC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A