CIRCLE releases two new working papers on underrepresented groups in volunteer service. The papers were commissioned by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Click on the paper titles below to download. A summary of the research follows.
* CIRCLE Working Paper 62 “Do Race, Ethnicity, Citizenship and Socio-economic Status Determine Civic-Engagement?”
* CIRCLE Working Paper 63 “Civic Engagement and the Disadvantaged: Challenges, Opportunities and Recommendations”
* Engaging the Poor and People of Color in Organized Service: Challenges and Opportunities: A Report of Proceedings from an Immersion Learning Session of the NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON VOLUNTEERING AND SERVICE
Working Paper Summaries: In order to support efforts to reach groups that are underrepresented in its volunteer and service programs, we present two background papers that examine rates of voluntary service and other forms of civic engagement among various subgroups of Americans. These papers were commissioned by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The first paper (Working Paper #62), by J. Foster-Bey, uses the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual
Volunteering Supplement for 2005-7 to show that race and ethnicity and socioeconomic
status are each predictors of voluntary participation. Whites and people of higher
socioeconomic status are more likely to say that they volunteer and are somewhat more
likely to say they engage in the other civic activities measured in the CPS.
The second paper by James B. Hyman and Peter Levine draws on a broader variety of surveys
and published studies to set a broader context. Their paper summarizes historical trends
since the 1970s and provides hypotheses about why we may see different rates of
participation in various specific forms of civic engagement by race, ethnicity, gender,
age, and socioeconomic status.
Overall, the papers explore two hypotheses:
1. When activities such as volunteering in formal organizations, participation in
national service projects and membership in civic organizations are used to measure
?civic participation,? there are substantial differences in measures of civic engagement
between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged individuals.
2. But there is little difference in civic engagement between disadvantaged and
non-disadvantaged people when other civic activities such as ?working on community
problems? and ?social protest? are examined.