Lending the Self to a Community: An Exploration of an Individual’s Development of Commitment, Responsibility & Loyalty
Anderson, Holly R.
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Paul Loeb eloquently speaks of the power of citizenship within his work, Soul of a Citizen, further encouraging hope, and community within our lives. He states, “Community involvement... is the mirror that best reflects our individual choices, our strengths and our weaknesses, our accomplishments and our failures. It allows our lives to count for something” (Loeb, 1999, 22). The following compilation of research will examine developments which take place within the lives of ten individuals as they participate in a community based committee dedicated to creating a series of events highlighting the local food system. The committee was founded through the support of a local non-profit organization located in South West Michigan. Specifically, the development of commitment, accountability, and loyalty that individuals experience through their community participation will be explored. Attention to the creation of such characteristics within an individual is essential to the understanding of civic engagement and citizenship. One must thoroughly understand an individual's experience to comprehend the dramatic influences of social capital within the American culture.