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Civic Engagement and Youth, Research on

Civic, from the Latin, is defined as having to do with city or citizens, chiefly with ordinary people. Engagement refers to a formal agreement, undertaking, or covenant. Youth in this entry is defined as young people between the ages of 14 and 21 years of age; research is the act of searching for explanations for a specific behavior or phenomenon. Civic engagement has been conventionally defined as participation in electoral politics, voting, obtaining petition signatures, attending party gatherings, and volunteering. According to this narrow definition, young people are frequently viewed as disengaged and uninvolved until they reach voting age. Research on marginalized youth (young people of color and lower socioeconomic status), however, has led to a broadening of the definition of civic engagement to include ...

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