Neighborhoods and civil society

Neighborhoods and civil society

USA community participation at the local level of the neighborhood

Given the emphasis that social scientists have placed on building community, it's surprising that little of this debate has focused on the role of neighborhoods in generating social capital. The authors here presume that neighborhoods have the capacity to strongly nurture a sense of community. Drawing on data gathered for a study of citizen participation in large American cities, the paper empirically tests the proposition that political activity in the neighborhood creates various forms of social capital. At the heart of the investigation are neighborhood associations in cities where they have been given significant authority by the local governments. The paper investigates the relationship between activity in neighborhood associations and attitudes involving a sense of community, trust in government, and internal political efficacy. Overall, neighborhood associations appear to play a positive role in creating and sustaining social capital.

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