Individualism revisited: Moral worldviews and civic engagement
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.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)