Get access

Civic Engagement From a Communication Infrastructure Perspective


  • 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:
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach

    1. Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90087
    Search for more papers by this author

  • 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:


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.

Get access to the full text of this article