Older Adults and Civic Engagement in Rural Areas of the Czech Republic

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Abstract

Older adults represent a specific group of political and civic actors. In one line of argument, the growing number of people over 65 is gaining stronger voice and representation, and plays a stronger role in social, economic and political life and changes in societies. Another approach points to the social exclusion of older adults and their “oppressed voices”. Using a representative survey of the Czech rural population age 60+, Quality of Life of Seniors in Rural Areas (2016), we looked at the level and forms of civic engagement of older adults and their perceptions in rural areas. We found these attitudes associated with the “locus of control” as an indicator of agency and with place attachment. Some sociodemographic characteristics (being younger, having higher education) increase the probability of older adults’ civic participation in rural areas. The results enhance our knowledge on rural social networks in later life and point to untapped potential of older adults in the local contexts.

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