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The Good Citizen
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The Good Citizen
How a Younger Generation Is Reshaping American Politics

Third Edition


June 2020 | 224 pages | CQ Press
There has been a growing chorus of political analysts with doomsday predictions of an American public that is uncivil, disengaged, and alienated. And it's only getting worse with a younger generation of Americans who do not see the value in voting. The good news is that the bad news is wrong. In this Third Edition of The Good Citizen, Russell Dalton uses current national public opinion surveys, including new evidence from 2018 Pew Center survey data, to show how Americans are changing their views on what good citizenship means. It's not about recreating the halcyon politics of a generation ago, but recognition that new patterns of citizenship call for new processes and new institutions that reflect the values of the contemporary American public. Trends in participation, tolerance, and policy priorities reflect a younger generation that is more engaged, more tolerant, and more supportive of social justice. The Good Citizen shows how a younger generation is creating new norms of citizenship that are leading to a renaissance of democratic participation. An important comparative chapter in the book showcases cross-national comparisons that further demonstrate the vitality of American democracy. 
 
Tables and Figures
 
Preface to the Third Edition
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1 Citizenship and the Transformation of American Society
The Social Transformation of America

 
The Evolution of Citizenship Norms

 
The Plot of This Book

 
Conclusion

 
 
PART I DEFINING THE NORMS OF CITIZENSHIP
 
Chapter 2 The Meaning and Measurement of Citizenship
Citizenship in Theory

 
What Is a “Good” Citizen?

 
The Two Faces of Citizenship

 
The Distribution of Citizenship Norms

 
What Kind of Citizenship?

 
Appendix

 
 
Chapter 3 Forming Citizenship Norms
A Generational Gap?

 
The Rising Tide of Social Status

 
Gender and Ethnicity Patterns

 
Citizenship and Religion

 
Partisan Differences in Citizenship

 
Bringing the Pieces Together

 
The Social Roots of Citizenship

 
 
PART II THE CONSEQUENCES OF CITIZENSHIP
 
Chapter 4 The Rising Tide of Political Activity
The Forms of Political Action

 
Voting and Elections

 
Non-electoral Activity

 
Old Repertoires and New Repertoires

 
Citizenship Norms and Participation

 
Engaged Democrats

 
 
Chapter 5 (In)Tolerance in America?
How to Measure Political Tolerance

 
The Unconventional Evidence: Rising Political Tolerance

 
Who Is Tolerant, and Who Isn’t

 
Citizenship and Tolerance

 
Citizenship and Tolerance: A Second Look

 
Tolerance in America

 
 
Chapter 6 Is Government the Problem or the Solution?
Linking Citizenship Norms to Policy Priorities

 
We Want Government to Be a Big Spender

 
Our Spending Priorities

 
Combining Predictors

 
Public Policy Preferences

 
Citizenship Norms and Voting Choice

 
Citizenship and Public Policy

 
 
Chapter 7 The Good Citizen and Democratic Governance
Changing Images of Government

 
Trusting Political Authorities

 
Citizenship Norms and Trust in Authorities

 
Trusting Political Institutions

 
Democratic Principles

 
Feelings of National Pride

 
Citizenship, Trust, and Democracy

 
“America, Right or Wrong”

 
 
Chapter 8 In Tocqueville’s Footsteps
The Norms of Citizenship

 
The Consequences of Citizenship

 
Participation since Tocqueville

 
Tolerance

 
Democratic Norms

 
Dear Chicken Little: The Sky Is Not Falling

 
 
PART III CONCLUSION
 
Chapter 9 The Two Faces of Citizenship
Balancing the American Political Culture

 
A Culture Tug-of-War

 
Understanding Millennials

 
Tocqueville Revisited

 
Norm Shift and American Democracy

 
 
Appendix: Statistical Primer
 
Endnotes
 
Index

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2