Civic Engagement From a Communication Infrastructure Perspective

Authors

  • Yong-Chan Kim,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Telecommunication and Film, College of Communication and Information Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
      Yong-Chan Kim; e-mail: ykim@ua.edu.
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  • Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach

    1. Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90087
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  • An earlier version of this article was presented at the Voice and Citizenship conference at the University of Washington in April 2004.

Yong-Chan Kim; e-mail: ykim@ua.edu.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to articulate the concepts and assumptions of communication infrastructure theory (CIT) in its present stage of development and validation. As an ecological approach to communication and community, CIT claims that access to storytelling community resources is a critical factor in civic engagement. When embedded in a neighborhood environment where key community storytellers encourage each other to talk about the neighborhood, individual residents are more likely to belong to their community, to have a strong sense of collective efficacy, and to participate in civic actions. CIT framework offers a way to examine the ecological processes that concern the effects of communication resources on civic community.

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