What Is The Difference Between Civic Engagement And Social Responsibility And Identify Ways Collective Action Has A Greater Impact On Social Change Than What An Individual My Accomplish?


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Samantha Mitchell Profile
  • Definition of civic engagement
Civic engagement is both individual and collective in actions that are designed to identify and solve problems that are a public concern.

  • Definition of social responsibility
Social responsibility is ethics in which an organization or individual has the obligation to help for the benefit of society.

Based on the definitions civic engagement does not require an obligation, but the individual or group has decided to help society; whereas, social responsibility is an obligation that one cannot ignore.

An individual is one voice. While it is nice to believe that one voice can change the world it is sadly not the case. One voice may help influence others, but it will not reach far enough without the support of others. This is why a collective action whether it is in civic engagement or social responsibility will have more of an impact.

For example, a group of individuals cleaning up the highway will get more done than one person walking that same stretch.

It is not only about what one person can do in a day as opposed to what a team can do. It is also about the variations of thinking that a collective party can have versus one individual. It goes back to the old saying "two heads are better than one".
When you have a group of individuals with different personalities but a main goal more can theoretically get done to help effect social change. It does not always work out like this as we can see in the budget debates of 2011 for the USA, but on the whole if there are more people to work on a problem with more ways of looking at the problem collective action will have a higher impact.

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