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ERIC Number: EJ1137442
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1076-0180
Political Consciousness but Not Political Engagement: Results from a Service-Learning Study
Harker, Dave
Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, v22 n2 p31-47 Spr 2016
How does participation in a service-learning program impact the way students think about politics and political engagement? There are reasons to expect that service-learning can contribute to the development of a political consciousness and the skills necessary for political participation. The author uses participant observation, in-depth interviews, and focus groups to examine how participation in an in-depth service-learning program shapes the ways students think about their service as it relates to politics. Students in this sample clearly develop a deeper sense of political consciousness, but not a deeper level of political engagement. These students feel as though they "should" be more political in order to make an impact on the issues on which they are working, but they face several obstacles: they do not know how, do not see politics (at least in its current state) as a viable solution, see politics as too divisive, or are too busy with their service and/or school.
Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, University of Michigan. 1024 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3310. Tel: 734-647-7402; Fax: 734-647-7464; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A