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What Does it Mean to be a “Good Citizen” in today’s society?

Before you ponder this question you might want to consider some of the criteria you would use to address this.

– Voting?

Assignment Type:
Essay (any type)
Service: Writing
Pages/Words: 1 pages / 275 words (Double spacing)
Education Level: College
Language: English (US)

Assignment Topic: politic
Subject: Political Science

Instructions
This is a question I would like all of you to seriously consider as you read through chapter one and post chapter one reading.

*Please respond to at least two other students’ posts for consideration of full credit

What Does it Mean to be a “Good Citizen” in today’s society?

Before you ponder this question you might want to consider some of the criteria you would use to address this.

– Voting?

– Paying taxes?

– Obeying the law?

– Volunteer work?

– Membership in a political party?

– Protesting wrongdoing?

– Being concerned for those in need?

– Trusting government officials?

Do you place any expectations on yourself as a participant of the U.S. political system? What expectations might you have of the government and the political process?

I will attempt to give my analysis here as I break down citizenship into two very distinct categories:

1. Duty-based citizenship = includes aspects such as voting, paying taxes, serving on a jury. These would typically be described as the norms that reflect the formal obligations, responsibilities, and rights of citizenship as they have been defined in the past.

2. Engaged citizenship = emphasis is on a more assertive role for the citizen and a broader definition of citizenship to include social concerns and the welfare of others, i.e. volunteering

Plato did have some foresight when his great worry of democracy was that citizens would ‘live day to day, indulging the pleasure of the moment. It seems as though we are experiencing a generational change in the United States and shifting political allegiances that will have some implications for how we would like to see society organized and what that looks like. One should not view these shifts in the norms of citizenship as a threat to democracy unless of course they are ignored. Again returning to Plato, “…the biggest challenge to democracy is the voters themselves.” Do we choose to take a negative view of citizenship–one that is marked by political pundits laying claim that too few of us are voting, we are too disconnected from our fellow citizens and lacking in social capital, and the nation is in social disarray. As Russell Dalton eloquently puts it, “By recognizing the current challenges, and responding to them rather than making dire claims about political decay, American democracy can continue to evolve and develop”.

  

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