Chapter 1 introduces readers to Interfaith, a progressive faith-based community organizing coalition, and the Patriots, a conservative Tea Party group. It depicts members of both groups struggling to move forward in the wake of the Great Recession, and as a result choosing to become more active citizens capable of inserting their voices, values, and knowledge into the policy debates that impact their lives. It then situates the groups’ efforts in the historical contexts of changing conceptions of good citizenship and rising societal secularization, enabling readers to discern previously unrecognized convergences and divergences in how these groups engage in active citizenship. Finally, it describes the research methods that were used to study these groups and provides an overview of the key arguments and contributions of the book.
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