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Agency in Community: Research Forum Civic Engagement

May 10, 2019

The Social Science Research Committee (SSRC) is pleased to announce that we will organize a CIVIC ENGAGEMENT RESEARCH FORUM from 12:30 to 4:30 on June 10 (Monday; Gerri C. LeBow Hall 722).  If you would like to attend the forum, please register.  

While there is a broad consensus that civic engagement involves participation in social, intellectual and political life to enhance community well-being, there are still multiple definitions about what exactly constitutes civic engagement. We recognize that civic engagement is key to building healthy communities, robust democracies, and resilient economic institutions. The inquiries into the antecedents, processes, and consequences of civic engagement also have profound impact on social science scholarship and public policy.

This forum is an initial step towards bringing together a group of social scientists to (1) discuss promising directions of civic engagement research and (2) build connections for scholarly collaboration. 

Research topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Community volunteering
  • Impact of community engagement on physical/mental health
  • Community collective action and neighborhood safety
  • Civic learning through action
  • Public health and community-based participatory research (CBPR)
  • Neighborhood businesses’ social engagement
  • Social networks within the local advocate and policy-oriented communities
  • Social media’s role in making engaged citizens
  • Community arts and collective identity
  • Community, memory and history
  • Historical action civics of Philadelphia
  • General community research with implications for civic engagement 

We are very open to disciplinary perspectives and methodologies.  We believe that seemingly irrelevant ideas could be the seed for novel scholarship.  If you see a fit, you are welcome!

The preliminary forum schedule is as follows (if you cannot come in person, you can join through Zoom):

12:30-1:30 (lunch provided): Panel discussion.  How do various social science and humanities discipline research and engage with civic engagement? How to conduct effective community research?  How does civic engagement research interact with practice?  Panelists will share their insights and experience. 

1:45-3:00: Flash talks.  Participants will present a short paper on civic engagement.

3:15-4:30: Roundtable discussion.  Participants will be grouped into roundtables for scholarly debates and discussion of promising research topics. 

4:30-6:30 (optional): SSRC social hour.  SSRC will host our final social gathering.  We welcome forum participants to join us celebrating the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year. 

Hope to see you in attendance,

The Social Sciences Research Committee