Political Voice and Civic Attentiveness of Public and Non-Profit Employees

Source: Nevbahar Ertas, American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 45 no. 5, September 2015
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From the abstract:
The scarcity of citizen involvement in the public sphere is an ongoing concern within the literature on democratic citizenship. This study examines two dimensions of engagement—attentiveness and participation—in several political voice activities, looking at citizens working in the public and non-profit sectors in comparison with private-sector employees. Government employees serve the public interest by providing public services in various ways, but they are also individual citizens with varying values, opinions, and attitudes. How does this dual role shape their civic engagement behaviors and habits of political attentiveness? Are they more politically attentive or more likely to engage in political voice activities than individuals working in other sectors? How do non-profit workers fare? Are they more similar to public workers or private workers with regard to participation in these activities? Using the Current Population Survey (CPS) Special Supplement on civic engagement, the analyses here indicate that both government and non-profit employees are significantly more likely to engage in political voice activities than those working in the private sector. By focusing on political voice activities, knowledge, and media use, the study contributes to the literature by providing a more comprehensive profile of individual participation by sector. The findings generate new questions about what such participation might mean for democratic citizenship.