Civic engagement of young people is increasingly understood as an important feature of democratic functioning in communities, organizations, and societies. It has also become clear that the civic domain is indispensable as a context for understanding human development processes. This volume brings together cutting–edge work from leading scholars in the interdisciplinary field of youth civic development. Their work makes the case for greater consideration of justice, social responsibility, critical consciousness, and collective action in our understanding of child and adolescent development.
The volume proposes the following central theses in relation to youth civic development:
It is rooted in the realities of young people s everyday lives.
It is collectively constructed.
It raises questions about the principles, values, and relationships that bind people together in societies.
It raises questions about power and justice.
Youth civic development pushes the broader field of child and adolescent development to focus on the social issues with which younger generations are grappling and the identities they are constructing issues that also are shaped by structural inequalities and by the collective actions of youth. The volume builds on themes of agency and assets from the field of positive youth development and points to ways that the critical analysis and engagement of young people in their society can contribute to social change.
2. The Developmental Roots of Social Responsibility in Childhood and Adolescence 11Laura Wray–Lake, Amy K. SyvertsenThe authors posit that the development of social responsibility begins in childhood and develops in adolescence as a value orientation that links one′s own fate with those of fellow human beings.
3. Taking Stock of Youth Organizing: An Interdisciplinary Perspective 27Brian D. Christens, Ben KirshnerIntegrating literature from multiple disciplines, the authors provide a multilevel framework for understanding a promising model for civic development and social change youth organizing.
4. Critical Consciousness: Current Status and Future Directions 43Roderick J. Watts, Matthew A. Diemer, Adam M. VoightDrawing on the work of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, the authors explicate the role of critical consciousness in youth civic development.
5. "Unapologetic and Unafraid": Immigrant Youth Come Out From the Shadows 59Hinda SeifThe author explores the changing political consciousness and action of Latino/a youth as they organize and publicly advocate for equal rights and an end to discrimination against members of their ethnic group.
6. Early Educational Foundations for the Development of Civic Responsibility: An African Experience 77Robert Serpell, Paul Mumba, Tamara Chansa–KabaliThe authors describe an innovative peer education curriculum in rural Zambia that not only promotes health, but also fosters cooperation, gender equality, and social responsibility.
7. Youth Civic Development: Theorizing a Domain With Evidence From Different Cultural Contexts 95Constance A. Flanagan, M. Loreto Martínez, Patricio Cumsille, Tsakani NgomaneThe authors point toward the primacy of collective action, groupways, and mediating institutions as aspects of the civic domain germane to youth development across cultures.