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Civil Society, Civic Engagement & Volunteering

April 15, 2014

Civil society refers to the broad swath of society that exists between the market, the state, and the family, conceptualized (alternatively or in combination) as a set of voluntary associations and their actions, the nature of societal values, or the form and content of the “public sphere.” Civic engagement focuses attention on individuals in civil society and the various ways and rates at which they connect to politics, to communities, and to one another. Volunteering focuses more specifically on the motivations for, practice of, and outcomes generated by the giving of time in support of individuals, groups, or causes, often (but not always) through organizations.