Individualism revisited: Moral worldviews and civic engagement

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This paper investigates whether substantively distinct moral worldviews can help explain why certain people engage in different types of civic actions. Based on an analysis of survey data from a nationally representative sample of American adults, we find that, controlling for other important factors, a moral worldview emphasizing civic responsibility is more likely to encourage volunteer efforts that benefit the larger community than is one emphasizing personal fulfillment. Furthermore, we also find that a worldview emphasizing religious duty is less likely to promote involvement in civic activity that helps those in the larger community relative to a worldview emphasizing civic responsibility. But a religious worldview increases the probability of in-group volunteering relative to an individualist worldview. The implications of these findings for the broader scholarship on civic engagement and social capital and the role of culture in action are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Beyerlein, K; Vaisey, S

Published Date

  • August 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 384 - 406

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0304-422X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.poetic.2013.05.002

Citation Source

  • Scopus