Where There's a Will, There's a Way? Civic Participation and Social Inequality

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


Given that the quality and solidity of civil society depend on the amount of civic engagement, the question why some groups engage while others do not becomes a major issue for research. This paper aims to identify factors that might explain whether or not citizens participate in civil society. In terms of theory, we refer to both Bourdieu's concept of 'capitals' as resources for civic participation and Putnam's viewpoint, which argues that civic participation is particularly motivated by trust, norms and networks. In the empirical part of the paper, we use data from the European Social Survey for Austria to identify potential factors that might explain civic participation. Based on regression and CHAID analyses, two indicators appear to be particularly important in explaining differences in the civic participation of individuals, i.e. citizenship values and social networks and activities. These variables are the strongest predictors regarding all types of participation analysed (donating money, volunteering and entering a membership association).
Seiten (von - bis)283 - 301
FachzeitschriftJournal of Civil Society
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2009