Civic participation and social embeddedness: differences between urban and rural communities
Does civic participation lead to a large social network? This study claims that high levels of civic participation may obstruct individual social embeddedness. Using survey data from the German Survey on Volunteering (Deutscher Freiwilligensurvey; 1999–2009), this study conducts macro- as well as multi-level regressions to examine the link between civic participation and social embeddedness. Findings reveal that civic participation on the sub-national regional level is not generally associated with social embeddedness, but it affects the participants’ and non-participants’ possibilities for friendships differently. This holds especially true in urban areas, but the effect cannot be found in rural areas. The analysis has implications for further research to enhance the social embeddedness of the excluded.