Definition of civic engagement: According to Schudson, “people are citizens insofar as they do not seek their own comfort, insofar as they serve the nation, and insofar as they hold beliefs beyond themselves”. We also engage in civic actions by joining others in a common activity, a “rekindling of communal feelings, a reaching out to friends, neighbors, and strangers”.
Introducing the artifact: Penn State Habitat for Humanity website Purpose of this organization: an organization, a Penn State chapter of Habitat Humanity, that participates in activities and service projects around the community. Build houses to reduce homelessness and poverty.
Description of the artifact:
- An aesthetically pleasing website
- Easy to read print
- Bright colors
- Warm, approachable
Visual Aid? Display the website for Penn State Habitat for Humanity: http://www.pennstatehabitat.com/
How the club can be seen as civic: Gathers students for a common activity (Schudson’s third definition of civic engagement), and these students are all doing something beyond themselves, for strangers. They certainly are doing an act for someone else, someone they may not know. They are not seeking their own comfort, but perhaps the comfort of having the satisfaction of giving aid. Opportunities for rhetorical interaction: Persuading students to join, through aesthetically advanced website, cool graphics (FIREWORKS). Quote gives ethos, and also gives the viewers some food for thought: “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. – James A. Froude” You feel like, “damn, I really need to forge myself a good character, a character who actually did something good for the community”. You will feel good about yourself after participating because you’ve made a difference, and created a good character for yourself. Develops a pathos argument. Especially with the video under the Spring Break tab, the video invokes the desire to participate. The emotional desire and drive to be a good person fuels certain individuals.
Civic commonplaces contained in or assumed by the artifact: helping the homeless is an act of charity that is admired (perhaps another culture or group of individuals hold different views). Building houses is an effective way to help others.