by Beth Rubin
Qualitative research describing and theorizing about the emerging civic identities of diverse youth is scarce. This study provides a textured view of how civic identity is constructed and negotiated by racially and socioeconomically diverse adolescents, based on interviews and in-class discussions conducted with students in four public secondary schools. Youth living in distinct contexts come to school-based civic education with varied understandings—shaped by disparate daily experiences—of what it means to be an American citizen and a participant in the civic life of a democracy. This investigator’s examination of diverse adolescents’ discussions of their in-school and out-of-school civic experiences suggests a “typology” of civic identity that runs counter to prevalent views of the civic engagement of urban, minority youth. The study illustrates sharp disparities in daily civic experiences of youth from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, and suggests that schools can either hinder or encourage development of engaged, action oriented civic identities among students from various contexts.
This research was supported by a grant from the CIRCLE Foundation.
Suggested citation: Rubin, Beth C. (2007). “There’s Still Not Justice”: Youth Civic Identity Development Amid Distinct School and Community Contexts” Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Accessed from CIRCLE via http://civicyouth.org/PopUps/WorkingPapers/Ruben.pdf