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Abstract

Concern about the topic of civic engagement has centered on the increasing reduction of voter turnout and the apparent alienation and “disconnect” of the general population with the process of government. This study, undertaken at the request of the leaders of a small town in southern New Hampshire is a two-step research plan (one quantitative, one qualitative). Results of both the survey portion of the research and the focus groups reveal an electorate (both adult and youth) which is concerned and informed, but mildly alienated and which register mild levels of efficacy. Suggestions made to try and build unity and an overall spirit of cooperation not just on the adult level but for the youth population as well, include the use of study circles increasing town wide involvement and opening a dialog among those who most acutely feel this disconnect.

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