Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

7 p.m.

Location has been changed to the McKinney Conference Room.

Celebration of a New Book: The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life (Paradigm Publishers 2014)

The authors and their Providence collaborators talk about ways to build a better city

We are constantly bombarded with opportunities to “make a difference” in our community: petitions, food drives, protests, Facebook campaigns, and public hearings are only a few of the ways that people in Providence work hard to make our city a better place to live and work. Why do people organize in so many different ways? How is it that similar groups choose different strategies? Why don’t organizations work together more often? For a year, five scholars from Brown (departments of sociology, anthropology and political science) joined seven local civic organizations to answer these questions, and to see how Americans understand, talk about, and act out their visions for change. Their ethnography, The Civic Imagination, came out last month. Please join the authors and civic groups for a discussion of making a difference in American political life.


Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Associate Professor of Individualized Studies and Sociology and Director of the Urban Democracy Lab (Gallatin School), New York University

Elizabeth A. Bennett, PhD candidate in Political Science, Brown University

Alissa Cordner, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Whitman College (Brown PhD in Sociology 2013)

Peter Taylor Klein, PhD candidate in Sociology, Brown University

Stephanie Savell, PhD candidate in Anthropology, Brown University