Community-Based Learning and Social Capital: Exploring Student Attitudes and Perceptions of Connectedness to Campus and Diverse Communities

August Hoffman


Community service activities, civic engagement and volunteer services have been identified as key elements in improving how individuals relate and communicate with each other in society. Social capital has also been described as a highly useful form of social networking that empowers community members to collectively use each other as potential resources. The current study explored how participants from non-traditional backgrounds (i.e., ethnicity, culture and age) completed a variety of interethnic community service activities. We hypothesized that increased exposure with members of diverse ethnic groups through community service activities would show reductions in ethnocentric attitudes and also show increases in the perception of the importance of social capital and future participation in community service work activities.

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