What is civic?

We explain what civics is and some characteristics of this term. In addition, the importance it has in society.

  1. What is civic?

The concept of civics is a term derived from that of a citizen , understood as that member of society who has reached the level of social maturity sufficient to act in accordance with current regulations. In this way, it becomes an adjective that characterizes people who comply with a series of guidelines, oriented towards a good social coexistence within a community.

The dictionaries recognize it as an adjective and not as a noun, although it can be heard that way, as an abstract concept that alludes to human consciousness linked to respectful behavior with neighbors, or with the institutions and interests of the country.

The expression “fulfill the civic duty”, which is used colloquially in Argentina to refer to the act of voting, expresses the importance assigned to suffrage in democracies .

In the same way, civic value is the courage to fulfill those duties without fear of political reprisals, just as the civic crown  is the one assigned in ancient Rome to war heroes, or the civic notebook is a document that It accredited the status of citizens in some Latin American countries in the last century.

The family , the tradition and culture are essential bridges for the acquisition of the civic culture, but at the same time it takes a formalization of this integration in the field of life in society.

  1. Why is civic education important?

Civic education
Civic education seeks to establish ethically correct values ​​and behaviors.

It is necessary the existence of a civic education in the fields of study, which transmits, at least, the values ​​that children must acquire to be good citizens . This subject is a compulsory subject in almost all countries in the case of secondary education, and often also in the case of primary education.

There is much that has been theorized and based on civic education, with a great force of what is oriented to favor the recognition and respect of human rights , as a way to establish ethically correct values and behaviors .

In that sense, from the first years of schooling, the understanding of the dignity of people , of equality in diversity, of freedoms and responsibilities , and of the characteristics of norms is insisted .

Once this knowledge is strengthened, it will be the turn to think about the issue of power , rights, the organization of States, democracy and citizenship.

Having acquired all this knowledge (more appropriately called “competences”), the richest stage in the construction of a civic culture can begin , which is one that allows discussion and rethinking: consider the validity of human rights, the role of States in that sense, the behaviors of each individual and of the groups, and the currents of thought that are organized around it.

Civic education generated debates for a long time , since some thinkers (like Pierre Bourdieu) believe that it only seeks to reproduce some social structures that deepen inequality, without anything changing its roots. In some countries in Europe, where youth are questioning the political class and manifesting it through protests, it also requires an analysis of civic education and eventual reformulation, according to the needs of young people.

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