Activities in civil society, seen as the sphere of society in which voluntary associations are dominant, are considered an important source of civility in modern society. By interacting and finding solutions for common problems, members of associations turn into citizens with a broader perspective and interest in the common good. The evidence for these positive roles is at best mixed, however. Not voluntarily associating in a separate sphere of civil society, but combining associational with public and commercial modes of social coordination, appears to offer a more promising option for civilizing modern society. Examples of hybridity are discussed. The paper concludes with a plea for a clearer recognition in social research of civicness as a normative perspective.