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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Exploring the 'civic core' Event

12:00 - 13:00
14 March 2012
Building 58, Room 3017

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Dr Sarah Bulloch on 02380 592482 or email .

Event details

Exploring the ‘civic core’: what are the overlaps between and determinants of formal and informal contributions to civic life in England and Wales?

Joint C2G2 and TSRC seminar

Exploring the ‘civic core': what are the overlaps between and determinants of formal and informal contributions to civic life in England and Wales?

Prof John Mohan and Dr Sarah L Bulloch TSRC, University of Southampton 14 March 2012, 12noon, Murray Building (58) 3017, University of Southampton.

This paper explores the relative shares of the total amounts of formal and informal contributions to civic life accounted for by different sections of the population in England and Wales. We draw upon a Canadian study (Reed and Selbee 2001) of the ‘civic core' - those groups in the population that account for the largest share of three dimensions of formal civic engagement, namely charitable giving, volunteering, and participation in civic associations. This focus is extended to include a measure of more informal contribution in the form of unpaid help to others other than family. The paper uses three waves of the Citizenship Survey, for 2007-8, 2008-9 and 2009-10, with a combined total of over 27,000 respondents. Respondents' relative contribution to the sum total of effort on each of these dimensions is identified and individuals are characterised as members of the ‘civic core' if their contribution exceeds a threshold above which they collectively provide two thirds of the national total of formal and informal contribution to civic life.

The socio-economic characteristics of members of each of these ‘core' groups are analysed and we examine whether there is a division of formal and informal contributory activities amongst the civic core. Findings indicate that members of the ‘civic core' provide a contribution to civic life which is clearly disproportionate to their share of the population as a whole. Consideration is given to the normative meaning of this disproportionality, and to the implications of the analysis for policies which aim to increase the level of pro-social behaviour in the population.

Lunch will be provided. Registration is not required - please just come along.

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