The Chronicle of Higher Education
FOR MUCH OF THIS DECADE, public intellectuals in the United States have led a chorus of concern over the stale of our "civil society." The phrase is evocative and inclusive, alluding both to the quality of our interpersonal relations and to the vitality of our democratic processes. Signs that our civil society is in trouble can be seen in a demise of courtesy in commonplace transactions (angry gestures on the freeways); in a declining commitment to family (the weakening of marriages and too little time spent with children); in a lack of community spirit (neighborhoods where people keep to themselves); in the absence of honor and virtue among public figures (no examples needed here); and in political disengagement across the land (empty voting booths and public cynicism about current affairs).
Damon, William, "The Path to a Civil Society Goes Through the University" (1998). Service Learning, General. 172.