This paper attempts to map the rise of neoliberalism - as political economic policy and related ideology- to provide the necessary context for Putnam's generational change thesis, examining the American trends, this paper explores similar changes within a Canadian context. The components of civic engagement considered here include non-voting political activity, participation in elections, and participation in community activities. Neoliberalism refers to "a theory of political economic practices proposing that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, unencumbered markets and free trade" (Harvey, 2007, p.22). Inherent in this paper's mapping is the recognition that advancing the neoliberal project requires the continual increase in consumption demand, an increase which manifests through the acceleration of consumption practices and the creation of new markets (Harvey, 2010). Focusing specifically on the development of information and communication technology (ICT) markets, this paper details how this industry exploded in the mid 1970s (Dyer-Witheford, 1999) and has continued to expand since (Sciadas, 2006).
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