feeling and behaving with responsibility toward the civic order

a.k.a. civic responsibility, social responsibility

“…a feeling of identification with and sense of obligation to a common good…” — Character Strengths and Virtues (2004, p. 370)

Might be confusing to call this “citizenship” as that word is also used to describe a legal status.

Accompanied by a feeling of belonging (e.g. this is our homeland, our people, our joint project, our responsibility).

Important not to confuse citizenship virtue with allegiance to existing government, as then cynicism about corruption/inefficiency/hostility etc. in government will erode citizenship.

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • cynicism
  • reclusivity
  • being “anti-social”
  • selfishness

Virtues possibly in tension

How to acquire or strengthen it

  • Lots of attention on how to develop this in youth, e.g. “service learning”; all of the interventions described in Character Strengths and Virtues had to do either with juveniles or criminal offenders.

Notes and links


Mentioned elsewhere


Inspirational quotes

  • “After all, we have gotten used to regarding as valor only valor in war (or the kind that’s needed for flying in outer space), the kind which jingle-jangles with medals. We have forgotten another concept of valor — civil valor. And that’s all our society needs, just that, just that, just that! That’s all we need and that’s exactly what we haven’t got.” ―Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • “That which isn’t good for the hive isn’t good for the bee.” —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 6.54