Citizenship and Young People's Role in Public Life

M. Bass
January 1, 1997

This publication is part of a special issue on the role of youth in community renewal. A “public work” approach to youth service that stresses collaborative problem solving and common endeavor has great potential for developing active citizenship. During the past decade, youth service and service-learning movements have increased dramatically, and young people are now volunteering for community service in record numbers. This recognition of the importance of active citizenship has also resulted in a broad-based movement for civic renewal and a “new citizenship.” The writer discusses differing perspectives on citizenship; what youth service looks like when approached from a public work perspective; examples of the power of this perspective; and how new communications technology may help connect individuals and organizations and facilitate the exchange of information.