Submitted by PCamper on Mon, 11/30/2020 - 13:57

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Laura Schlachter, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Community & Environmental Sociology and Department of Sociology, and Dr. Jane L. Collins, a faculty in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, are working on the study “Reevaluating the Workplace-Civic Engagement Relationship.”

Using a 2017 National Service and Civic Engagement Research grant from AmeriCorps, the research leverages original survey and interview data to address questions about the relationship between workplace organization and civic engagement during one’s lifetime. Specifically, the researchers will analyze whether participatory forms of workplace organizations can be used a strategy to increase civic engagement. They will answer the following questions:

  • How do civic engagement levels of non-cooperative and cooperative workers compare?
  • What firm- and individual-level characteristics are associated with cooperative workers' levels of volunteering and voting outside the workplace?
  • How do cooperative workers' trajectories of employment and civic engagement intersect over the life course?

Overall, 39 percent of Worker Co-op Census survey respondents reported volunteering, 68 percent reported participating in at least one type of civic engagement, and 70 percent reported voting in the previous year. The study finds a positive and robust association between participation in the workplace and participation in civic life off the clock in this sample of workers. Analysis of qualitative interviews and a matched sample of workers in standard workplaces is in progress.

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