According to the scholarly literature, civic engagement practices inclusive of historically marginalized groups are critical to promote justice and contribute to the health of American democracy. Empirical studies meanwhile reveal a grim report of participation from low-income families and/or persons living in ethnically/racially diverse communities in decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. Scholars have called for further research to address the gap in understanding how barriers to participation are created and reproduced in the day to day experience in marginalized communities, and what if anything can be done to transcend barriers and boundaries to broad based civic engagement.
By focusing on a high profile civic engagement effort in one low-income, multiethnic urban community, this research provides a context rich, textured account that sheds new light on these important questions. Drawing on four years of ethnographic research, this study finds that social and spatial boundary work intended to build diverse community engagement for an inclusive initiative ultimately created an exclusive process that kept most stakeholders out. This manuscript explains how these boundaries were created, how people gave them objective reality, and what their consequences were. The study also raises two fundamental needs for the future of civic engagement theory and practice: to change practices which are ineffective and often counterproductive of civic engagement objectives, and, to define an approach leading to meaningful participation. In response to these needs and associated tensions, this manuscript offers an integrated framework providing insights into how to create robust opportunities for civic engagement efforts in low-income and multiethnic communities.
|Advisor:||Campbell, David C.|
|Commitee:||Grindstaff, Laura, London, Jonathan K.|
|School:||University of California, Davis|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Geography, Political science, Ethnic studies, Social structure|
|Keywords:||Boundaries, Civic engagement, Community development, Diversity, Ethnography, Exclusion, Low-income, Multiethnic, Participation|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be