ERIC Number: ED462540
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Sep
Women's Community Involvement: The Effects of Money, Safety, Parenthood, and Friends. Research-in-Brief.
Decreased civic and political participation is a pressing problem in the United States. Today, Americans are less likely to vote, work for a party or candidate, attend a meeting, or belong to a social or community organization than they were 40 years ago. A study used the Community Indicators Survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,206 adults conducted by telephone in 1999, to measure levels of community involvement. The study suggests that gender plays an important role in determining who participates; women choose to participate, or not to, for different reasons than men. Factors influencing civic engagement include the following: (1) more highly educated men, but not women, are more likely to participate; (2) women who feel safe in their neighborhoods are more likely to participate, but men who feel safe are less likely to participate; (3) knowing one's neighbors also increases participation significantly among women but not men; (4) family income of more than $60,000 increases participation significantly for women, but not for men; and (5) the only factor with a similar effect on men and women is that having a child between the ages of 5 and 17 increases participation for both genders. The study concluded that public policies that decrease violence and increase safety for women and better work-family policies could increase civic participation. Community and other civic groups could also encourage activism by making participation more convenient by providing child care, scheduling events at the end of workdays or at worksites, or using e-mail to build networks or even as a medium of participation. (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Attitude Measures, Citizen Participation, Citizenship Responsibility, Community, Community Involvement, Community Organizations, Community Relations, Demography, Economic Factors, Family Influence, Females, Income, Males, Motivation, National Surveys, Parents, Safety, Sex Differences, Voting
For full text: http://www.iwpr.org/pdf/civic.pdf.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for Women's Policy Research, Washington, DC.