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Article
The Importance of Political Context for Understanding Civic Engagement: A Longitudinal Analysis
Political Behavior (2007)
  • Alina R. Oxendine, Hamline University
Abstract
We contend that political context is important to consider when analyzing social capital and that context has an important but neglected impact on understanding the consequences of civic activity. Our focus is on the influence of rural, local leadership in two Minnesota communities and policies that these elites have developed to bring Internet connectivity to their citizens. One city developed a community electronic network and the other opted for an individualistic, entrepreneurial approach to information technology. Using a quasi-experimental research design and four-wave panel data, we find that elite policy approaches interact with civic activity to predict technology use among citizens, even long after the policies’ initial implementation. In the city with a community network, residents who are integrated into civic life are able to harness these political resources to become more technologically sophisticated.
Keywords
  • Civic engagement,
  • Social capital,
  • Technology,
  • Electronic network
Publication Date
March, 2007
DOI
10.1007/s11109-006-9016-3
Citation Information
Alina R. Oxendine. "The Importance of Political Context for Understanding Civic Engagement: A Longitudinal Analysis" Political Behavior Vol. 29 Iss. 1 (2007) p. 31 - 67 ISSN: 0190-9320
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/alina-oxendine/8/