ERIC Number: EJ785572
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 63
The Role of Culture in Institutional and Individual Approaches to Civic Responsibility at Research Universities
Thornton, Courtney H.; Jaeger, Audrey J.
Journal of Higher Education, v79 n2 p160-182 Mar-Apr 2008
The purpose of this research is to employ a theoretical perspective to better understand and recognize the role of institutional culture within the civic responsibility movement in higher education. A three-part conceptual framework (Swidler, 1986) is used to investigate the influence of culture on civic responsibility at two research universities, namely, the University of Virginia (UVA) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and to generate new knowledge in this area of study. The significance of this research is twofold. First, this study shows Swidler's (1986) framework connecting ideology, culture, and action as a viable and practical way for an institution to explore and consider the relationship between its culture and its approach to civic responsibility, particularly in regard to student citizenship development. Swidler's arguments were supported by the findings, which showed a clear connection between institutional and individual ideologies and between cultural tools and different culturally informed approaches at the two institutions. Second, the research yielded two theoretically based understandings of the culturally informed strategies of citizenship development that students experience--namely, the test bed approach at UVA and the role model approach at UNC. Several implications for higher education institutions and for research universities in particular are discussed.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Research Universities, Ideology, Citizenship Responsibility, School Culture, Correlation, Role Perception, Cultural Context, Cultural Influences, Ethnography, Interviews, Institutional Research
Ohio State University Press. 180 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1002. Tel: 614-292-1407; Fax: 614-292-2065; Web site: http://www.ohiostatepress.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Virginia