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ERIC Number: EJ851941
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-1050-8392
"Power in Numbers": Youth Organizing as a Context for Exploring Civic Identity
Kirshner, Ben
Journal of Research on Adolescence, v19 n3 p414-440 Sep 2009
This study examines civic identity exploration among African-American and Asian-American urban youth who participated in a grassroots organizing campaign to improve their local high schools. Drawing on 9 months of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with participants, the study found that the campaign provided a venue for participants to wrestle with contrasting perspectives about the relationship between the individual and the broader public. The first perspective, which I call "atomism," described local social relations as individualistic and self-interested. The second perspective, which I call "collective agency," emphasized that people should work together toward common goals and that the more people who were involved, the more powerful the effort would be. Implications of youth organizing for civic identity formation are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A