Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The concept can be defined in many different ways.  I tend to think that social/ civic duty rests with the belief that a person has an obligation to the larger, collective element.  The concept of civic duty rests in the notion that there is a need to "give back," to act selflessly in the name of a larger element.  This can take the form of volunteerism, or the idea that one's efforts have to be geared towards the improvement of the general welfare.  I tend to see social or civic duty as a way for individuals to step outside their own senses of self, their own identity, and give back to others in a manner where the larger element benefits and not necessarily the specific individuals. This can be through social or political participation or through economic enhancement.  It is this idea of the "betterment of community" that is critical in the definition of civic or social duty.