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Political participation in America—supposedly the world's strongest democracy—is startlingly low, and many of the civil rights and economic equity initiatives that were instituted in the 1960s and '70s have been abandoned, as significant proportions of the populace seem to believe that the civil rights battle has been won. However, rates of collective engagement, like community activism, are surprisingly high. In Resisting Citizenship, renowned feminist political scientist Martha Ackelsberg argues that community activism may hold important clues to reviving democracy in this time of growing bureaucratization and inequality.
This book brings together many of Ackelsberg's writings over the past 25 years, combining her own field work and interviews with cutting edge research and theory on democracy and activism. She explores these efforts in order to draw lessons—and attempt to incorporate knowledge—about current notions of democracy from those who engage in "non-traditional" participation, those who have, in many respects, been relegated to the margins of political life in the United States.