Civic Activism (Engagement) and Its Various Definitions

In the literature, different definitions are used to define civic activism. Thus, van Ingen and Bekkers state that civic engagement stands for non-violent means to solve some problems and improve a current state of affairs. The researchers stipulate that this phenomenon can be represented by “membership of voluntary associations or volunteering” of other kinds. In addition to that, Heinecke, Cole, Han, and Mthethwa point out that civic activism is a useful way for students to achieve their goals and help others. It refers to the fact that this phenomenon makes it possible for numerous students to express their attitudes, often negative, toward particular events and decisions. In other words, various manifestations of civic engagement help people oppose injustice in the modern world.

At the same time, Florino, Galli, and Goel offer a more comprehensive definition of the phenomenon under consideration. To begin with, these scholars ensure that civic activism is a significant element of modern society because it influences many aspects of everyday life. For example, they prove that various kinds of civic activism can have either a positive or negative impact on corruption in Italy. Furthermore, the researchers stipulate that there are two kinds of civic engagement: active and passive activism. Thus, active civic activism is represented by mass media and information distributed via the Internet, while blood donors are examples of passive civic activism. Even though the three definitions present a bit different points of view, they agree on the fact that civic activism offers significant benefits for individuals.

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