Political scientist publishes new book on influence of schools/communities on civic life


The role of communities in shaping peoples political engagement and the importance of schools in fostering civic norms are the focus of a new book by David E. Campbell, a University of Notre Dame political scientist who specializes in political participation.

Published by Princeton University Press,Why We Vote: How Schools and Communities Shape our Civic Lifeargues that a strong sense of civic duty springs not only from ones current social environment, but also from ones early influences, particularly adolescent experience, underscoring the importance of American high schoolsefforts to enhance young peoples sense of civic responsibility.The bookdemonstrates how being raised and socialized in a community with strong civic norms leads people to be civically engaged in adulthood, resulting in a participatory payoff for years to come.

This book provides the first solid, generalizable evidence of the influence of an adolescents surroundings on adult political behavior,said Richard Niemi, professor of political science at theUniversityofRochester.It offers a significant contribution to the study of voter turnout by showing how citizen duty is a factor in predicting political participation,

Campbell, the co-author ofDemocracy at Risk: How Political ChoicesUndermine Citizen Participation,andThe Education Gap: Vouchers andUrbanSchools,earned his masters and doctoral degrees fromHarvardUniversity.His other areas of specialty include American politics, religion and politics, and educational policy.

* Contact: * David Campbell can be reached at 574-631-7809 or david_campbell@nd.educampbell@nd.edu .

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