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ERIC Number: EJ934427
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1224
Schools for Democracy: Labor Union Participation and Latino Immigrant Parents' School-Based Civic Engagement
Terriquez, Veronica
American Sociological Review, v76 n4 p581-601 Aug 2011
Scholars have long argued that civic organizations play a vital role in developing members' civic capacity. Yet few empirical studies examine how and the extent to which civic skills transfer across distinct and separate civic contexts. Focusing on Latino immigrant members of a Los Angeles janitors' labor union, this article fills a void by investigating union members' involvement in an independent civic arena--their children's schools. Analyses of random sample survey and semi-structured interview data demonstrate that labor union experience does not simply lead to more civic engagement, as previous research might suggest. Rather, conceptual distinctions must be made between active and inactive union members and between different types of civic engagement. Results show that active union members are not particularly involved in plug-in types of involvement, which are typically defined and dictated by school personnel. Instead, active union members tend to become involved in critical forms of engagement that allow them to voice their interests and exercise leadership. Furthermore, findings suggest that the problem solving, advocacy, and organizing skills acquired through union participation do not uniformly influence members' civic engagement. Experience in a social movement union serves as a catalyst for civic engagement for some, while it enhances the leadership capacity of others. (Contains 2 tables, 2 figures, and 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California