Community storytelling network, neighborhood context, and civic engagement: A multilevel approach

Yong Chan Kim, Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Citations (Scopus)


From a communication infrastructure theory perspective, the current study examined individuals' civic engagement (neighborhood belonging, collective efficacy, and civic participation) as influenced by 2 multilevel components of the communication infrastructure - an integrated connectedness to a storytelling network (ICSN) and the residential context - focusing on ethnic heterogeneity and residential stability. Our multilevel analyses show that ICSN is the most important individual-level factor in civic engagement - neighborhood belonging, collective efficacy, and civic participation -after controlling for other individual-level and neighborhood-level factors. In both ethnically homogeneous and heterogeneous areas and in both stable and unstable areas, ICSN is an important factor in civic engagement. As contextual factors, residential stability positively affects neighborhood belonging and collective efficacy, and ethnic heterogeneity is negatively related to collective efficacy. Our data do not show any direct contextual effects of residential stability or ethnic heterogeneity on civic participation. However, our HLM analysis showed that the relative importance of ICSN for the likelihood of participation in civic activities is significantly higher in unstable or ethnically heterogeneous areas than in stable or ethnically homogeneous areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-439
Number of pages29
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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