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Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 233–248 | Cite as

Youth and community service

A review of U.S. research, a theoretical perspective, and implications for policy in Germany
  • James Youniss
  • Heinz Reinders
Schwerpunkt

Abstract

We discuss findings and issues regarding community service by youth in the United States, for example: Is school-based required service as effective as voluntary service, and if increasing numbers of youth are doing service, why has political engagement not increased? We next present a theory proposing that certain kinds of service can contribute to the development of social identity. Such service would be challenging, bring youth into direct contact with the strange “other,” and engage youth with organizations which represent moral and political traditions. We conclude with speculations on ways community service might benefit identity development in German youth and help to resolve tensions in contemporary German society.

Keywords

Civic engagement Community service Identity development Volunteerism Youth service 

Jugend und gemeinschaftliches Engagement

Ein Überblick zur US-amerikanischen Forschung, eine theoretische Perspektive und Implikationen für die Politik in Deutschland

Zusammenfassung

Wir diskutieren Forschungsergebnisse und Folgerungen hinsichtlich gemeinschaftförderlichem Engagement von Jugendlichen in den USA, z. B. die Frage, ob Dienste, die die Schulen vorschreiben so wirksam sind wie freiwilliges Engagement, oder die Frage, warum die zunehmende Zahl von Jugendlichen, die Dienste leistet, nicht zu einem zunehmenden politischen Engagement führt. Als nächstes schlagen wir eine Theorie vor, derzufolge bestimmte Dienste zu einer Entwicklung der sozialen Identität von Jugendlichen beitragen können. Solche Dienste stellen eine Herausforderung dar, indem sie Jugendliche mit fremdartigen „Anderen“ zusammenbringen, und dies im Rahmen von Organisationen, die moralische und politische Traditionen repräsentieren. Wir schließen mit Spekulationen über Wege, wie freiwilliges Engagement möglicherweise der Identitätsentwicklung deutscher Jugendlicher zugutekommen und helfen könnte, Spannungen in der gegenwärtigen deutschen Gesellschaft zu lösen.

Schlüsselwörter

Ziviles Engagement Kommunale Dienste Identitätsentwicklung Jugendlicher Freiwilliges Engagement Jugenddienste 

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Copyright information

© VS-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Life Cycle Institute WashingtonThe Catholic University of AmericaWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Dept. for Research in Education Am HublandUniversity of WuerzburgWuerzburgGermany

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