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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering: A Sociological Modernization Perspective

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This paper presents a theory-guided examination of the (changing) nature of volunteering through the lens of sociological modernization theories. Existing accounts of qualitative changes in motivational bases and patterns of volunteering are interpreted against the background of broader, modernization-driven social-structural transformations. It is argued that volunteer involvement should be qualified as a biographically embedded reality, and a new analytical framework of collective and reflexive styles of volunteering is constructed along the lines of the ideal-typical biographical models that are delineated by modernization theorists. Styles of volunteering are understood as essentially multidimensional, multiform, and multilevel in nature. Both structural-behavioral and motivational-attitudinal volunteering features are explored along the lines of six different dimensions: the biographical frame of reference, the motivational structure, the course and intensity of commitment, the organizational environment, the choice of (field of) activity, and the relation to paid work.
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Voluntas [voluntas] pp899-volu-466689 May 22, 2003 20:47 Style file version June 4th, 2002
Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Vol. 14, No. 2, June 2003 (C
°2003)
Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering:
A Sociological Modernization Perspective
Lesley Hustinx1,2and Frans Lammertyn1
Thispaper presentsatheory-guided examinationof the(changing)nature of volun-
teering through the lens of sociological modernization theories. Existing accounts
ofqualitative changes in motivational bases andpatterns of volunteeringare inter-
preted against the background of broader, modernization-driven social-structural
transformations. It is argued that volunteer involvement should be qualified as a
biographically embedded reality, and a new analytical framework of collective
and reflexive styles of volunteering is constructed along the lines of the ideal-
typical biographical models that are delineated by modernization theorists. Styles
of volunteering are understood as essentially multidimensional, multiform, and
multilevel in nature. Both structural-behavioral and motivational-attitudinal vol-
unteering features are explored along the lines of six different dimensions: the
biographical frame of reference, the motivational structure, the course and inten-
sityof commitment, the organizationalenvironment,thechoice of (fieldof) activity,
and the relation to paid work.
KEY WORDS: modernization theory; biography; reflexivity; volunteerism; styles of volunteering.
INTRODUCTION
Recently, there has been a growing conviction that the nature of volunteering is
undergoing radical change as a result of broader social transformations.3Schol-
ars speak of a transition from “traditional,” “classical,” and “old” to “modern”
or “new” (Hustinx, 2001; Jakob, 1993; K¨uhnlein, 1998; Olk, 1989; Rommel
1Department of Sociology, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
2To whom correspondence should be addressed at Department of Sociology, Catholic University of
Leuven, E. Van Evenstraat 2B, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: lesley.hustinx@soc.kuleuven.ac.be
3In this paper, we take formal volunteering as our analytical point of departure, which is strictly
defined as “work for other people, organizations or society as a whole that is carried out in an unpaid,
non-compulsory way and within an organizational context” (Van Daal, 1990, p. 7). Cnaan et al. (1996)
167
0957-8765/03/0600-0167/1 C
°2003 International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University
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168 Hustinx and Lammertyn
et al., 1997), from “collectivistic” to “individualistic” (Eckstein, 2001), from
“membership-based” to “program-based” (Meijs and Hoogstad, 2001), or from
“institutionalized” to “self-organized” (Beck, 1997; Br¨omme and Strasser, 2001)
types of volunteer participation. In particular, individualization and secularization
are assumed to restructure the motivational bases and patterns of volunteering
(Anheier and Salamon, 1999, p. 46; Hacket and Mutz, 2002, p. 39). Compared
with traditional volunteering as a lifelong and demanding commitment, present-
day volunteer efforts appear to occur on a more sporadic, temporary, and non-
committal basis. Nowadays, willingness to participate in volunteering seems to
be more dependent on personal interests and needs than on service ethic and a
sense of obligation to the community. Motivated by a search for self-realization,
volunteers demand great freedom of choice and clearly limited assignments with
tangible outcomes. Volunteer activities have to be spectacular and entertaining to
keepvolunteersinvolved.Insteadof caring forolder ordisabled persons, volunteers
nowadays opt for “trendy” problems such as HIV/AIDS, refugees, animal rights,
and other modern “hot issues” (see, among others, Bennett, 1998; Gaskin, 1998;
Klages, 1998; Safrit and Merrill, 2000; van Daal, 1994; Voy´e, 1995; Wuthnow,
1998).
It is striking that although a dramatic change in the meaning and patterns
of volunteering is widely heralded, accounts of the exact nature of this transfor-
mation process vary greatly and are often under-theorized. So far, few systematic
attempts have been made to integrate existing characterizations in a consistent and
comprehensive conceptual framework. Moreover, in the absence of historically
comparative data, the idea of a transition from “old” to “new” types of volun-
teering remains based on empirically unsubstantiated assumptions (Jakob, 1993,
pp. 17–18).
This paper aims to give an impetus to more fundamental research on this
topic by providing a new analytical framework that looks at the current condi-
tion of volunteering through the lens of sociological modernization theory. This
theory-guided investigation will be developed in two steps. First, we argue that
recent social transformations fundamentally affect the social bases of volunteer
action, and more specifically the biographical frame of reference of volunteers.
Second, modernization theory is taken as a guideline for systematizing the many-
faceted observations on changing patterns of involvement. Thus, based on an in-
ventory of the main features mentioned in the literature, a typology is advanced
offer a more flexible approach to assessing volunteer activities. They distinguish four key dimensions,
which are approached as a continuum from the purest to the broadest definition of volunteering. These
key dimensions are: (1) free choice (free will versus obligation to volunteer), (2) the nature of the
remuneration (no remuneration at all versus low pay), (3) the structure or context under which the
volunteer activity is performed (formal versus informal), and (4) the intended beneficiaries (helping
others versus benefiting oneself). Although people are more inclined to define someone as a volunteer
who meets the rigorous definition (compare Handy et al., 2000), the wider-ranging criteria can apply
to volunteer activities as well. In this paper, it will become clear that a more differentiated approach
to volunteering is preferable with respect to (changing) styles of volunteering.
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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering 169
to reflect the multidimensional, multiform, and multilevel nature of contemporary
volunteering.
THE BIOGRAPHICAL CONSEQUENCES OF LATE MODERNITY
The influence of the wider social context in which volunteerism occurs has
beenone ofthe leastunderstood issuesin existingtheoryand researchon thistheme
(Wilson, 2000, p. 229). Nevertheless, the popular heralding of a shift from “old” to
“new”types ofvolunteer participationechoes the logicof a broader time diagnosis,
in terms of a modernization-driven erosion of the traditional axis and modes of
living. Hence, we cannot fully comprehend prevailing images of volunteering
without taking into account the way in which contemporary life has been affected
by the broader social transformations of recent decades (cf. Wuthnow, 1998).
Recently, there has been an exponential growth in sociological theories and
concepts that pronounce the idea of a new, more advanced stage of social evolution
within modernity (see, among others, Beck, 1992; Castells, 2000a; Crouch, 1999;
Wagner,1994). In highlyvarying terms,it is arguedthat, while therise of industrial
society marked the modernization of pre-modern feudal or peasant society (“first,”
“simple,” or “classical” modernization), we are now facing a modernization of
the industrial design itself (“second,” “late,” or “reflexive” modernization). Beck
et al. (1994) introduce the twofold concept of reflexivity as the pivotal mechanism
propelling this late modern shift. First, there is structural reflexivity, which refers
to the “self-undermining” and “self-transforming” effects of the natural logic of
industrial development (Beck, 1994, pp. 174–183). The industrial dynamic quasi-
autonomously leads to a social stage in which the guiding ideas and core institu-
tional responses of the first modernity (e.g., the gender-imbalanced nuclear family,
the ideal of standardized full employment, the abundant exploitation of nature in
the name of progress) no longer appear self-evident or infallible (Beck, 2001,
pp. 23–24). Second, there is self-reflexivity, or the individual reflection of
these changing institutional conditions, which involves a shift from former het-
eronomous or collective monitoring of agents to the autonomous, active, and per-
manent self-monitoring of individual life narratives (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim,
2002, p. 35; Lash, 1994, pp. 115–116).
This continuing enhancement of “self-reflexivity,” usually referred to as “in-
dividualization,” however is not synonymous with a picture of fully autonomous
“self-programmable individuals” (Castells, 2000b, p. 19). The biographical conse-
quencesof latemodernity shouldon thecontrary beunderstood interms ofgrowing
ambiguityand precariousness. Increased individual freedom of choiceintrinsically
implies more uncertainty and risk. Moreover, reflexively organized life planning
remains strongly dependent on highly abstract and contingent social institutions
(Beck, 1992; Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 1996). Heelas (1996) argues in favor of
a coexistence of traditional and (late) modern elements, and proposes to “see our
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170 Hustinx and Lammertyn
times as a mixture of various trajectories, from the more tradition-informed to the
more individualized” (Heelas, 1996, p. 11). At issue in this coexistence thesis is
not an epochal replacement of traditional or collective biographical forms by fully
modern or self-reflexive ones, but a characterization of contemporary life in terms
of a tension between other-informed and self-informed sources of determination
(Heelas, 1996, p. 4).
It is our contention that current accounts of “traditional” and “modern” forms
of volunteering pre-eminently reflect the fact that contemporary individuals are
oscillating between collective and reflexive biographical sources of determination.
In what follows we explore the nature of volunteering along the lines of both
biographical models.
A NEW ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK
Guidedbythe theoreticalperspectiveofcoexistencebetween differentsources
ofbiographical determination,we construct acomprehensiveanalytical framework
for understanding and investigating contemporary volunteering. We identify four
central principles concerning form and content of present-day volunteering styles.
First, with respect to content, styles of volunteering are qualified as biographically
embedded patterns of behavior. Further, three formal criteria are formulated con-
cerning the multilevel, multiform, and multidimensional nature of volunteering.
These four characteristic properties provide the key materials for our analytical
framework.
In essence, a collective and a reflexive volunteer ideal-type evolve from the
biographical-analyticalperspectiveelaborated above.Thesequalitativelabels refer
to the central premise that individual life must be situated in the field of tension
between heteronomous and autonomous sources of determination, and that styles
ofvolunteeringconsequently varyaccording to thesedistinct socialroots (cf.Beher
et al., 2000; Eckstein, 2001; Keupp, 2001).
To adequately assess the concrete nature of the two volunteer models, three
critical formal criteria need to be taken into account. First, it is crucial to draw a
distinctionbetween amore objective-structuraland amore subjective-motivational
level of analysis when examining the present state of volunteering (Beher et al.,
2000; Hacket and Mutz, 2002; K¨uhnlein, 1998). Current variations in volunteering
patternsresult from a complexinterplay of changes in the constitutiveenvironment
of volunteering on the one hand, and changes at the level of the volunteer on the
other hand. According to Beher et al. (2000, pp. 8–10), the structural context of
volunteering consists both of the individual life situation or the “subject-relevant
reflection of social structures and relations,” and the institutional or organiza-
tional settings in which volunteer action takes place. Volunteering has to be inter-
preted in reference to both the individual biographical consequences of broader
social-structural transformations and the organizational changes restructuring the
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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering 171
volunteer field. The subjective-biographical dimension refers to the (changing)
relationship between volunteer and commitment, and pays attention to the vol-
unteer’s (changing) motivations, attitudes, and cultural value orientations. These
two analytical levels consequently refer to the aforementioned “structural” and
“individual” reflexivity in late modern life.
Furthermore, the typology developed here should not be interpreted as a
rigid dichotomy between two clearly separated and stable categories, but as a
flexible continuum reflecting a fundamentally pluriform and dynamic volunteer
reality in between the theoretical ideal-types. Contrary to the polarization between
“traditional” and “modern” volunteer types in the prevailing discourse, we start
from the assumption of a radical pluralization of contemporary forms of volunteer
commitment(Hacket and Mutz, 2002, p. 41). Thismultiformity thesis is consistent
with the theoretical ambiguity of the current modernization phase: we are not
confronting a complete rupture between two historically different social forms,
but we increasingly come to live in a social environment that is characterized by
a mixture of collective and reflexive features. We consequently do not assume
that “new” volunteer forms are replacing “old” ones, but that “collective” and
“reflexive” ingredients are blended together into a personal volunteer cocktail.
Also, it is indispensable to conceptualize the nature of volunteering as a
multi-dimensional reality. Research on volunteering usually takes a “monolithic”
approach, deploying it as a “catch-all” term, or reducing it to one of its multiple
dimensions (Cnaan and Amrofell, 1994; Cnaan et al., 1996). As a consequence,
the volunteer picture remains fragmented. So far, few attempts have been made to
systematize the heterogeneous and often isolated accounts into a coherent, multi-
dimensional framework. To this end, in this paper we propose a sixfold classifica-
tion based on the following dimensions (cf. Jakob, 1993; K¨uhnlein, 1998; Rommel
etal., 1997): (1) the biographical frame of reference, (2)the motivationalstructure,
(3) the course and intensity of commitment, (4) the organizational environment,
(5) the choice of (field of) activity, and (6) the relation to paid work(er).
Below, these dimensions are considered in turn – so as to develop a new
classification of collective and reflexive styles of volunteering that understands
volunteerism as essentially multidimensional, multilevel, and multiform in nature.
Although“collective”and“reflexive”volunteeringstyles willbeoutlined asclearly
distinguishable ideal-types with distinct roots and characteristics, the analytical
framework should be interpreted as a flexible continuum, incorporating multiple
structures and motives between both volunteer poles.
Biographical Frame of Reference
Ideal-typically, collective volunteerism involves voluntary acts that are ini-
tiated, stipulated, and supervised by groups, regardless of the intentions or pref-
erences of the individual group members (Eckstein, 2001, p. 829). According to
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172 Hustinx and Lammertyn
Eckstein (2001, pp. 843–845), this type of volunteer participation is strongly re-
lated to community and class homogeneity, with a low residential turnover and
with shared needs and wants. In other words: she points at the importance of firm
socio-cultural and locally anchored group embeddedness. These volunteers share
a strong feeling of belonging to a collective “we.” Group membership is restricted
by the rules of ascription (kinship, class, ethnicity, or gender).
In this paradigm, volunteering forms a natural and integral part of com-
munity life; it is an unquestioned aspect of the collectively prescribed code of
conduct (Eckstein, 2001; Wuthnow, 1996). The individual biographical course
only acquires meaning and direction through an all-embracing community in-
volvement; personal aspirations are self-evidently subordinated to collective goal
setting (Jakob, 1993; K¨uhnlein, 1998; Wuthnow, 1996). Volunteer service is
consequently strongly intermingled with the construction and affirmation of
group-based identity: it is an avowal of the volunteer’s community belonging
(Jakob, 1993; Wuthnow, 1998) and a way of delineating community boundaries
(Eckstein, 2001, p. 847). It is important to note that biographical continuity is an
indispensable base for collective volunteerism. Socially predetermined and stable
modes of living and thinking ensure a persistent community orientation (Jakob,
1993).
The reflexive volunteer model represents individuated forms of commitment,
in which the focus shifts to the volunteer as an individual actor. The structural and
individualreflexivitytypical forthe late modernvolunteering contextis reflectedin
the progressive weakening of collectively established identities and life courses.
As a result, volunteering is no longer naturally inscribed in collective patterns
of behavior. On the contrary, the individual world of experience becomes the
principalframe of reference, and thedecision to volunteeris dependenton personal
considerations in the context of highly individualized situations and experiences.
It is a self-induced and self-monitored event within a self-constructed biographical
frame (Jakob, 1993, pp. 226–238; K¨uhnlein, 1998).
The idea of a “biographical match” (Jakob, 1993; Olk, 1990) or “functional
match” (Clary et al., 1998; Snyder, 1993) refers to this intensified and dynamic in-
teractionbetween individualbiographical conditions and the volunteerexperience:
motivation, occasion, and opportunity have to match in a particular biographical
stageor situation(K¨uhnleinandMutz, 1999,p. 300).4Thisbiographical matchpre-
sumably functions through two main mechanisms. On the one hand, it probably
4Snyder (1993) and Clary et al. (1998) speak of a “functional match” underlying the decision to
volunteer. This term refers to a process through which individuals come to see volunteerism in
terms of their personal motivations. Continued participation also depends on the “person–situation
fit”: the ongoing nature of volunteering relies on the degree to which volunteer roles match the
personal motivations of volunteers. We reconsider this functional approach from the broader social
context of volunteering. Reflexive modernization theory suggests that motivations are biographically
embedded, and thus fundamentally determined by a late modern life course. The individual functions
thatvolunteeringmayserveshould not only be understoodinpsychological terms of inner motivations,
but also in the context of a broader reflexive biography construction.
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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering 173
puts new constraints on volunteer commitment. The increasing precariousness,
discontinuity, and unpredictability of the self-established modes of living will un-
avoidably affect volunteer trajectories. On the other hand, it possibly opens new
opportunities since volunteering may offer an important alternative biographical
source for eroding collective identities and life courses (Hustinx, 2001).
Motivational Structure
Collective volunteer efforts are rooted in a communal orientation. The prime
motivation is an obvious sense of duty or responsibility to a local community or
more abstract collectivity. Very often, this prototype is embedded in a religious
tradition of benevolence and altruism, or inspired by a coordinating ideology or
meaning system (Beck, 1997; Jakob, 1993; K¨uhnlein, 1998; Voy´e, 1995). Dedica-
tion to the common good is a highly esteemed asset to which deviating individual
motivations are easily subordinated (Jakob, 1993, pp. 226–227).
However, this pervasive emphasis on community commitment does not re-
flect the traditional stereotype of the totally self-sacrificing volunteer (Beck, 1997,
pp. 14–15). Through devoted community service, biographical stability is guaran-
teed and collective identity is reinforced. Embedded in predefined “normal” role
behavior, the collective volunteer is relieved from the inevitable “reflexive” alter-
native of autonomous identity and biography construction (Jakob, 1993, p. 229).
Wuthnow (1998, pp. 32–33) for example portrays how male involvement in com-
munity organizations in the 1950s is a matter of professional pride and prestige,
a symbol of decency and reliability. Volunteerism is a favorable instrument for
career and status enhancement within the community of reference (Jakob, 1993,
pp. 116–117). On the other hand, women’s participation in community life is moti-
vatedbytheir searchfora publicdefinition beyondtheirordinary lifeasa housewife
(Wuthnow, 1998, p. 34). These rather self-oriented motivations however are inex-
tricably bound up with clearly defined positions and roles in a (relatively) closed
community of relevance.
In a reflexive volunteering framework, the interaction between individual-
ized biography and volunteer experience intensifies. The self-reflexive biographi-
cal quest becomes the driving force for primarily self-centered volunteer attitudes.
Themotivations ofreflexivevolunteers chiefly arisefrom experiences ofbiograph-
ical discontinuity, both caused by unintended life crises and by actively chosen
biographical re-orientations (Hustinx, 2001; Jakob, 1993; K¨uhnlein, 1998). On the
one hand, volunteering is used as a tool to cope with biographical uncertainties and
personal problems; on the other hand, the volunteering field is seen as a “market
of possibilities” (Evers, 1999, p. 55) for self-realization and the setting of personal
goals.
The explicit self-orientation of reflexive volunteers however does not support
the popular image of the individualistic volunteer using solidarity as a smart way
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174 Hustinx and Lammertyn
of pursuing self-interest (Evers, 1999, p. 54). Several authors observe stronger
support for self-directed or instrumental motives among more “modernized” and
younger categories of citizens (Barker, 1993; Dekker and Van den Broek, 1998;
Jakob, 1993). But this surprisingly does not temper their sense of compassion or
duty compared with less modernized citizen groups. A pluralization of motives
occurs (Hacket and Mutz, 2002, p. 44) in which other- and self-directed impulses
are not necessarily at odds, but come to strengthen and enrich each other (Beck,
1997; Dekker and Van den Broek, 1998; Hustinx, 2001; Klages, 1998; Wuthnow,
1991). A “solidary” (Berking, 1996, p. 189) or “altruistic” (Beck, 1997, p. 19)
individualism symbolizes the seemingly contradictory motivational basis of the
reflexive type of volunteering.5
The Course and Intensity of Commitment
Inacollectiveframe, stronggroup-basedidentities andbehavioralimperatives
ensure a continuous and predictable life course. This socially uniform, “normal”
biography provides solid ground for a long-term, unconditional, and regular vol-
unteer commitment (Jakob, 1993, pp. 231–232). Collective volunteers act from a
strong and obvious sense of duty toward community or group of reference. The
closeassociation betweenservice, groupaffiliation,and identityaffirmationfurther
reinforces the quasi-lifelong efforts of collective volunteers.
The self-evident subordination to collective prescriptions furthermore results
in an all-embracing, very intensive involvement that is relatively independent of
specific problems or beneficiaries. There is a general and deeply ingrained propen-
sityto striveforthe common goodof thecommunity orgroup towhich onebelongs,
reaching beyond the singularity of particular volunteer initiatives or organizations
(Jakob, 1993, p. 229). As a result of this natural and total devotion, collective
volunteers are likely to represent the core members of volunteer organizations
(Pearce, 1993, pp. 47–50).
In a reflexive-modern social environment, the time structure of volunteer
involvement radically changes. The unpredictability and discontinuity of the indi-
vidualized biography are reflected in the rise of irregular and incidental volunteer
commitments (Dekker and Hooghe, 2003; Erlinghagen, 2000; Hacket and Mutz,
2002, Heinze and Olk, 1999; Klages, 1998; Safrit and Merrill, 2000). In contrast
to the enduring involvement of the collective volunteer, reflexive volunteerism
is phased in separate and limited sequences with a specific, highly individual-
ized biographical relevance. It represents a dynamic involvement with frequent
5Itshould be noted thatsome scholars draw attention tothe fact that thereare no historically comparable
data available to demonstrate that the widely assumed shift from other- to self-orientated motivations
has actually taken place. K¨uhnlein and B¨ohle (2003) suggest that this idea more likely originates from
the fact that there recently has been an increased social and academic awareness of the multi-layered
nature of motivations to volunteer than from an actual conversion in the attitudes of volunteers.
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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering 175
entries and withdrawals depending on individual biographical needs and condi-
tions (Hacket and Mutz, 2002; Jakob, 1993; K¨uhnlein and Mutz, 1999).
Since longevity of service results from active considerations about the “good-
ness of fit” between volunteer experiences and biographical circumstances, reflex-
ive volunteers demand a considerable amount of flexibility and mobility allowing
them to continually shift between activities and organizations according to their
own “biographical whims.” They prefer successive ad hoc or project-based ar-
rangements with volunteer assignments that are clearly limited in time and space
(Beher et al., 2000; Safrit and Merrill, 2000; Wuthnow, 1998). In this formula,
duration and intensity of involvement are fully adaptable to the preferences and
possibilities of the volunteers. The crumbling time horizon of reflexive volun-
teers thus results in rather ephemeral (Pearce, 1993) or loose (Wuthnow, 1998)
involvements.
Organizational Environment
The development of formal voluntary organizations gained momentum in the
wake of the transition from a peasant or feudal society to a modern industrial
society (Gundelach, 1984; Smith, 1973). A central characteristic of this industrial-
modern organizational form is a hierarchical division of labor in which authority
is delegated to clearly defined, democratically elected leaders who can act and
negotiate on behalf of the association (Gundelach, 1984, p. 1066). This form of
voluntary organization is furthermore based on a segmented system with separate
organizations for separate areas of life and with clear boundaries between differ-
ent social classes or between religious or ideological groups. Being community-
and/orsocial class-based, acollective actionorientation prevails:each social group
or category considers formal voluntary association as the ultimate method for fur-
thering its joint interests (Gundelach, 1984, pp. 1058–1060; Gundelach and Torpe,
1997, p. 53; Smith, 1973, pp. 66–68).
Collective volunteerism ideal-typically thrives in this highly structured,
membership-based, and socially or ideologically divided organizational environ-
ment.Collective volunteersare likelyto operate through overlapping involvements
within a dense, rather insular local network of organizations associated with their
community or group of reference. A strong leadership core organizes group volun-
teerism and coordinates the involvement of individual group members (Eckstein,
2001, p. 846). Because of the static and closed nature of the strong, place-based
social networks in which collective volunteers typically operate (cf. McPherson
etal., 1992, p. 166),social involvementacquires a veryspecific symbolic meaning.
It is a way of reaffirming shared group identity and tight integration in a stable
community.Asa result, the organizationis an important locus for socialization and
the strengthening of group ties, and a tight coupling between formal group mem-
berships and volunteering exists. Being a member above all, collective volunteers
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176 Hustinx and Lammertyn
strongly identify with the values and goals of the organization, and they show a
great sense of responsibility for the organization as a whole rather than purely for
the work they undertake (Cameron, 1999, pp. 56–57). Service to the organiza-
tion is primarily understood as loyalty, i.e., “more an implicit sense of obligation
to fellow members than a deep inner commitment to a cause” (Wuthnow, 1998,
pp. 33–34). Exclusive membership standards, an ostentatious distinction between
members and nonmembers, and a self-reinforcing hierarchical system of rewards
for long-term and particularly active members, are keys to strong enduring in-
volvement (Wuthnow, 1998). This may slip into a cliquish atmosphere in which
contributing to the good of the community receives the lowest priority (Meijs and
Hoogstad, 2001, p. 53; Wuthnow, 1998, p. 46).
The present transition to a late-modern or post-industrial society has resulted
in a new wave of voluntary association (Gundelach, 1984, p. 1050) that leads away
from the democratically structured, membership-based organization. On the one
hand, there has been a rapid growth of value based, non-democratically structured
professional organizations (Selle and Stromsnes, 1998, 2001), usually referred to
as tertiary organizations (Putnam, 1995). These organizations are highly central-
ized and market-oriented, with a structural tendency to reduce the membership
role to a type of “vicarious commitment” by which individuals “contract out the
participation task to organizations” (Maloney and Jordan, 1997, pp. 116–118). In
addition, the steep growth in staff-led nonprofit organizations also means a break
with the associational type of involvement by creating highly specialized roles that
are focused on service provision to clients instead of personal contacts with fellow
volunteers (cf. Wuthnow, 1998). On the other hand, there is an expanding field
of rather informal, self-organized, and decentralized initiatives – with few institu-
tional links transcending the local level, with no clear center of authority, and with
limited, project-oriented objectives like self-help groups, parent involvement in
schools, or local neighborhood initiatives (see, among others, Beher et al., 2000;
Br¨omme and Strasser, 2001; Gundelach, 1984; Klages, 1998; Putnam, 2000; Selle
and Stromsnes, 2001; Sivesind et al., 2002; Wuthnow, 1994, 1998).
Simultaneously with the emergence of new organizational structures, the po-
sition and meaning of the organization change: it is no longer a central venue
for socialization and identity-creation (Wollebaek and Selle, 2002). A decoupling
between membership and volunteering takes place (Goss, 1999; Putnam, 2000;
Wuthnow, 1998). The archetypal reflexive volunteer does not participate for the
sake of belonging to group-bounded organizations, but is more pragmatically fo-
cused on the services offered or activities undertaken. Kayal (1991, pp. 300–301),
for instance, observes that AIDS volunteers are primarily aimed at a personal
or emotional identification with the clients, independently of the organization or
setting within which they operate.
In response to these functionally oriented and increasingly individualized
volunteer dispositions, there recently has been a remarkable mushrooming of new
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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering 177
institutionalstructures, initiatedby volunteerorganizations andgovernments alike,
that are directed at tailoring volunteer activities to the private interests and prefer-
ences of the volunteers – instead of putting the organizational targets first (Anheier
and Salamon, 1999; Beher et al., 2000; Wollebaek and Selle, 2002). Exemplary is
the steep growth of (regional and local) volunteer agencies that purposively search
for the optimal tune between specific demands of volunteers and activities offered
by organizations. These coordinating agencies embody a “program management
model” (Meijs and Hoogstad, 2001) in which a limited and clearly defined contri-
bution to a specific goal is demanded.6In these new, volunteer-centered initiatives,
the organizational role shifts from being the central focus of volunteer action to a
kind of “enabling structure,” a mediator between a volunteer and a specific project.
This implies that reflexive volunteers may become structurally detached from any
oneparticular location ororganization. Withoutstrong organizationalattachments,
reflexive volunteers are a “moving target.”
Choice of (Field of) Activity
In a collective framework, “group-based politics” (Bennett, 1998) stipulate
the volunteer’s choice of field of action and activity. The field in which one op-
erates is determined by a self-evident affinity with shared ideologies, religious
convictions, and collective identities. According to Voy´e (1995, p. 325) this type
of volunteerism is based on a universalization of a common culture and way of
living (a “good mother,” a “good worker,” a “good life” following Jesus Christ).
It is inspired by strong, universal identities that include rich symbols and moral
standards (Christianity, the “bourgeoisie,” or the working class). Identification
with these strong identities is based on inclusion (“We are all brothers and sis-
ters of Jesus Christ”) or exclusion (“She has been poorly educated,” “He is less
fortunate due to a disability”). Collective-grounded volunteerism is parochial and
contained in scope, confined to people and groups associated with the commu-
nity as socially constructed (Eckstein, 2001, p. 847). It typically reflects the idea
of bonding, place-based social capital (Putnam, 2000). In this context, entry to a
particular field of volunteer action is not dependent on individual decisions but is
typically initiated and supervised by others: charismatic community leaders, influ-
ential representatives of local organizations, or churches (Eckstein, 2001; Jakob,
1993).
6It is important to emphasize that there are considerable cross-national differences in the position
and role of volunteer agencies (Heinze and Olk, 1999, pp. 94–95). In the United States, volunteer
agencies are institutionalized at the local, regional, and national level. They play a key role in market
research and volunteer administration. In Western Europe, on the contrary, volunteer agencies are a
relatively new phenomenon anticipating recent structural changes in the nature of volunteering. Meijs
and Hoogstad (2001) also note that whereas program volunteering is very common in the United
States, the introduction of a program management model is relatively new in the European context
(in which volunteerism traditionally has been embedded in a membership paradigm).
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178 Hustinx and Lammertyn
Collective volunteers carry out activities that are directed to the community
at large. They consequently operate in a multi-purposive set-up and are likely to
perform an extensive, diffuse set of activities. The kinds of activities performed
moreover correspond to collectively defined identities and roles. The most typ-
ical example is the gendered understanding and organization of community
involvement. Traditionally complementary gender patterns are reproduced in
gender-segregated organizations and types of activity (Barker, 1993; Jakob, 1993;
uhnlein, 1998; Metzendorf and Cnaan, 1992; Voy´e, 1995; Wuthnow, 1998).
In a reflexive volunteering context, processes of individualization and glob-
alization create a paradoxical relation between social closeness and geographical
distance that crystallizes in a situation of local disintegration amid global integra-
tion (Beck, 2001, p. 29). Instead of being anchored in geographical proximity or
standardized group cultures, feelings of belonging are increasingly self-selected
on the basis of shared interests. These elective social configurations produce a
more privatized and self-induced form of solidarity that is inspired by lifestyle and
identity politics (Bennett, 1998; Giddens, 1991). Voy´e announces a “universaliza-
tion of particularities” (Voy´e, 1995, pp. 325–329), a process in which pre-given
collective identifications are replaced by daily feelings of solidarity that are based
on individual perceptions of sameness or shared life experiences and problems
(cf. Bennett, 1998; Keupp, 2001; Melucci, 1993; Zoll, 1992). These new modes
of “inclusion” however are of a very precarious nature and can rapidly change as
a result of new striking similarities between life stories. The voluntary response
of the gay community or the “worried well” (Kayal, 1991, p. 295) to the AIDS
epidemic is a clear example of the mobilizing and bonding power of shared life
experiences beyond diverse social backgrounds. Kayal (1991, p. 299) moreover
observes how the “heterosexualization” of AIDS and the volunteer corps has come
to threaten this particular kind of gay volunteerism.
These “reflexive” connections through shared life experiences and everyday
life concerns are an expression of a broader shift toward a “post-materialistic”
value pattern, which marks “a shift from political cleavages based on social class
conflict toward cleavages based on cultural issues and quality of life concerns”
(Inglehart, 1997, p. 237). In addition to this increasing preference for new themes
and fields of action, volunteering has entered the age of globalization (Anheier and
Salamon, 1999, p. 46). The increasing globalization of social and ecological prob-
lems, the rapid expansion of international organizations with branches in countries
worldwide, the creation of virtual volunteer communities over the Internet, and
the increased volunteer mobility through the institutionalization of volunteer ex-
change programs, have widened the scope of volunteer efforts beyond place- and
group-based boundaries and have lead to an intensified interconnection between
local volunteer action and global concerns.
The choice of activity is also affected by the volunteer’s detachment from
collective frames of reference. Being a volunteering increasingly becomes a
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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering 179
specialized role with a narrow scope (Wuthnow, 1996, 1998). Instead of a
coordinating ideology or shared goal, personal preferences and needs dictate
what kind of volunteer activities are performed. The prevalence of self-centered
volunteer attitudes consequently finds its reflection in a “focused activism”
(Wilkinson and Mulgan, 1995; Voy´e, 1995). Moreover, volunteer activities are
chosen depending on their concrete and practical nature. Idealism is replaced by
more tangible and pragmatic goals. In the case of the Flemish student movement,
for instance, very personal one-to-one commitments between students are far
more successful than traditional collective action in favor of the global student
population (Hustinx et al., 2002).
Relation to Paid Work(er)
Collective volunteerism, with its roots in churches and associational life, is
usually associated with a rather amateurish type of involvement based on good
intentions and common sense (Wuthnow, 1998, p. 32). The expansion of the mod-
ern welfare state has reinforced this “do-gooder” image, defining the volunteer’s
role as “a marginal one at best, that is, to supplement professionally planned and
deliveredservices” (Anheier and Salamon,1999, p. 43).The advanceof theprofes-
sional regime has widened the gap between professional experts and unqualified
volunteers. Whereas qualified paid workers provide the lion’s share of the ser-
vices, volunteers are saddled with auxiliary tasks. This prevalence of professional
authority fits into the “paid work centered” model of industrial society (Beck,
2001; Mutz, 2002; Mutz et al., 2000).
In a reflexive volunteering context, the relation between volunteer and pro-
fessional is ambiguous. Sector blurring, or the increasing interdependence of the
public, private, and nonprofit sectors, has forced voluntary organizations to func-
tion in a manner similar to large public agencies or private companies and to
face increasing demands for accountability and efficiency (Gundelach and Torpe,
1997, p. 51). Moreover, the growing complexity and scope of social problems have
raised awareness that special expertise is required instead of former “second-rate
ways of serving the community” (Wuthnow, 1998, p. 42). As a result, volunteer
involvement is currently less seen in terms of membership and goodwill than in
terms of effectiveness and accomplishments (Wuthnow, 1998, p. 46). Volunteers
are increasingly likely to operate in a professional organizational setting and they
face serious demands with regard to the acquisition of specific expertise and levels
of performance (Cnaan and Amrofell, 1994, p. 346; Heinze and Olk, 1999, p. 94;
Ilsley, 1990, pp. 77–89).
Theoretically, the condition of reflexive volunteering is closely related to
the idea of a “new work society” in which the meaning of work extends be-
yond the contours of paid labor (K¨uhnlein and Mutz, 1999; Mutz, 2002). In this
view, the ongoing restructuring of the labor market and the increasing
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180 Hustinx and Lammertyn
discontinuity of occupational biographies bring into perspective a “triad of work”-
model, in which paid employment, volunteer work, and self-initiated activities
(“Eigenarbeit”) are complementary fields of activity (K¨uhnlein and Mutz, 1999,
pp. 296–301). Viewing volunteering as a valuable substitute for periods of un-
employment, some authors (Beck, 1999; Rifkin, 1995) even propose to provide
some form of social credit system assuring social benefits alongside monetary
contributions to the social security system (Anheier and Salamon, 1999, p. 47).
Also indicative for the increasing blurring of boundaries between paid and unpaid
work is the rapid expansion of “corporate volunteering,” which explicitly aims
at creating synergetic effects between existing expertise and the experiences of
private and nonprofit sectors (Janowicz et al., 2000).
DISCUSSION
In this theory-guided exploration of how sociological modernization theory
can illuminate our understanding of the meaning and nature of volunteering, an
ideal-typical distinction has been made between collective and reflexive styles of
volunteering. Table 1 presents the main features of both prototypes – integrated in
a multilevel and multidimensional analytical framework.
In the absence of longitudinal data, the historical distinction underlying the
prevailing discourse on “old” and “new” volunteerism cannot be substantiated. In-
stead of focusing on an epochal transition, our analytical framework departs from
two different ideal-typical biographical sources of determination. The differences
outlined between collective and reflexive volunteers consequently are not exclu-
sively related to a specific time period. For instance, the meaning of volunteering
for the individual self was already recognized at the beginning of the twenti-
eth century, being a pre-eminent instrument for female self-development (Jakob,
1993; Voy´e, 1995). And today’s accelerating individualization process does not
prevent people from actively choosing to live according to a traditional model.
On the contrary, a reflexive revaluation and reproduction of collective values and
modes of living is very plausible (cf. Heelas, 1996; Inglehart and Baker, 2000;
Thompson, 1996). A relevant example is the qualitative shift in the “traditional”
religious bases of volunteerism. In contrast to secularization theories relating to
a linear decline of organized religion, Wuthnow (1988) clearly demonstrates how
American faith-based involvements have kept their vitality through the reorienta-
tion of religious practices and the proliferation of highly diverse special purpose
groups.
Although we have hypothesized that contemporary dynamics in volunteer-
ing consist of a mixture of both collective and reflexive features, modernization
theorists predict a progressive erosion of traditional group belongings, and thus
a weakening of the collective roots of volunteering. In the absence of adequate
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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering 181
Table 1. Analytical Framework for Exploring Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering
Styles of volunteering
Collective volunteering Reflexive volunteering
Objective: Subjective: Objective: Subjective:
structural-behavioral motivational-attitudinal structural-behavioral motivational-attitudinal
Biographical frame
of reference – Standard, collective
biography
– Biographical continuity
– Ascribed group
membership
– Collectively prescribed
code of conduct
– Collective identity
– Self-evident subordination
to collective goal-setting
– Avowal of group
belongings
– Heteronomous monitoring
– Self-constructed
biography
– Biographical
discontinuity
– Elective group
membership
– Self-determined course of
action
– Self-identity
– Self-reflexivity
– Biographical match
– Freedom and uncertainty
– Self-monitoring
Motivational
structure – Coordinating religious and
ideological meaning
systems
– Clearly defined positions
and roles in community of
relevance
– Obvious sense of duty or
responsibility to
community or collectivity
– Tool for biographical
stability and identity
affirmation
– Intensive interaction
between biographical
conditions and volunteer
experience
– Biographical
discontinuities in terms
of crises and active
re-orientations
– Self-centered motivations
– Tool for coping with
biographical uncertainty
and for active
self-realization
– “Solidary” or “altruistic”
individualism
Course and
intensity of
commitment
– Predictable life course is
basis for long term and
regular involvement
– Intensive participation
– Core involvement
– Unconditional, self-evident
commitment
– All-embracing, total
devotion
– Unpredictable life course
is basis for short term
and irregular, incidental
involvement
– Dynamic involvement:
frequent entries and
withdrawals
– Flexibility and mobility
– Ephemeral or loose
involvement
– Conditional commitment,
depending on
biographical needs and
conditions
– Preference for sequential,
project-based
arrangements
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182 Hustinx and Lammertyn
Table 1. (Continued)
Styles of volunteering
Collective volunteering Reflexive volunteering
Objective: Subjective: Objective: Subjective:
structural-behavioral motivational-attitudinal structural-behavioral motivational-attitudinal
Organizational
environment – Hierarchical, socially or
ideologically segmented
organizational society
– Strong leadership core
– Tight coupling between
formal group membership
and volunteering
– Associational volunteering
– Strong organizational
attachment
– Overlapping involvements
– Socialization and
integration through
involvement
– Service is understood as
loyalty
– Strong dedication to
organization’s values and
goals
– Tertiary and nonprofit
organizations,
decentralized initiatives
– Decoupling of
membership and
volunteering
– New volunteer-centered
institutional structures
and forms of recruitment
– Program volunteering
– Weak organizational
attachment
– Vicarious commitment
– De-localized commitment
– Functionally oriented
attitudes: focus on
activities offered, not on
organization within
which they are performed
Choice of (field of)
activity – Inclusion/exclusion based
on universalization of a
common culture and way
of living
– Initiated and supervised by
others
– Reproduction of traditional
gender patterns
– Group-based politics
– Bounding, parochial
solidarity
– Idealism
– Wide-ranging,
multi-purposive
community involvement
– Local disintegration amid
global integration:
globalized elective
networks
– Interaction between local
action and global
concerns
– Lifestyle and identity
politics
– Daily feelings of
solidarity
– Pragmatism, focused
activism
– Preference for personal,
one-to-one service
– Post-materialistic value
pattern
Relation to paid
work(er) – Paid work centered society
– Professional authority
– Ancillary volunteer position
– “Well-meaning amateur”:
good intentions and
common sense
– Extended meaning of
work: volunteering part
of “triad of work”
– Professionalization of
voluntary sector and
volunteerism
– Corporate volunteerism
– Professional volunteers
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Collective and Reflexive Styles of Volunteering 183
empirical research materials, the exact consequences for the nature of volunteer-
ing however remain unclear. Based on this theory-guided analysis, some tentative
conclusions nevertheless can be drawn.
First, studying volunteering through the lens of (reflexive) modernization
theory reveals that we must pay close attention to the (changing) context in which
volunteering occurs. Depending on the type of social-structural embeddedness of
the volunteers, a radically different meaning and pattern of involvement can be
discerned. In contrast to the usual lament about the increased individualism of the
“new” volunteer generation, it is important to recognize that a number of social-
structural forces are pushing volunteers in a certain direction. Organizations must
beattentive toboth external pressures(e.g., unpredictable lifecourses) and internal
pressures (e.g., increasing pursuit of professionalism and efficiency) reshaping
volunteer’s behavior.
Second, this theoretical analysis suggests that major changes occur in the
relationship between volunteer and organization. Volunteer involvement looses its
self-evident character; it decreasingly corresponds to strong identifications and
long-lasting memberships. A shift toward more reflexive, self-directed forms of
volunteering may result in a widening gap between the priorities of the volunteer
andtheorganizationalwork thathasto bedone.Another sourceofconflict liesinthe
intermittent course of reflexive volunteer involvement. Chances of organizational
survival will depend on structural adaptations that can accommodate more self-
interested, flexible, and detached forms of involvement.
The third, and maybe most alarming implication of this theoretical investi-
gation is the apparently growing exclusion of less privileged population groups
from contemporary volunteer action. The ideal-typical construct of reflexive vol-
unteerism creates a universe of “clever volunteers” (Giddens, 1994, p. 94), who
are fully capable of matching individual biographical conditions with appropri-
ate volunteer opportunities, who actively pursue personal interests, and who dis-
pose of substantial educational, professional, and organizational qualifications to
meet the standards of highly specialized and self-organized volunteer activities.
Ellison (1997) is right to plead for a more constrained sense of reflexivity placing
“greater emphasis on the role of contemporary citizenship as a defensive strategy
– involving attempts to retain a sense of integration – in a complex and poten-
tially hostile social and political environment” (Ellison, 1997, p. 712). The idea
of a defensive engagement should prevent us from being deluded by the image of
the completely self-reflexive and self-monitoring volunteer. It may be more ap-
propriate instead to gear recruitment and management practices to the increasing
vulnerability and biographical disorientation of a growing number of people in a
(relatively) detraditionalized social environment.
Wuthnow (1998, pp. 29–30) sets the cat among the pigeons with the provoca-
tive question as to whether volunteering itself may be anachronistic in a time
of “loose connections.” Current trends toward more transitory, detached, and
Voluntas [voluntas] pp899-volu-466689 May 22, 2003 20:47 Style file version June 4th, 2002
184 Hustinx and Lammertyn
self-centered involvements indeed seem to contradict our intuitive understand-
ing of “who is a volunteer” (cf. Handy et al., 2000). It certainly appears that, if
we continue to look to the present state of volunteering with the familiar formal
(and often normative – see Beck, 1997, pp. 14–15) categories, we will soon be
confrontedwith the demiseof thelast volunteercrusader.In this paper,we however
have taken up the challenge to refine our understanding of the complex nature and
meaning of volunteering. We hope that this theorization of variations and transfor-
mations in contemporary styles of volunteering, and the concomitant construction
of an analytical framework of “collective and reflexive styles of volunteering” will
inform, and better organize, further theoretical and empirical research into present
day volunteering.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
An earlier version of this paper was presented at ISTR’s Fourth International
Conference,July5–8, 2000,Dublin, Ireland. Thistheoretical investigationispartof
an empirical research project on “Reflexive modernity and styles of volunteering,”
supportedby the Fund forScientific Research Flanders (FWO Grant G.0159.98N).
The authors wish to thank H˚akon Lorentzen, Irene K¨uhnlein, Ram Cnaan, and the
anonymous Voluntas reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.
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... Een ander kenmerk is dat zij dat zij dat structureel doen, dat wil zeggen, een vast moment per week. Hun motieven zijn vooral van altruïstische aard: zij willen bijdragen aan het algemene belang en het geluk van anderen (Van Baren & Meijs, 2014;Hustinx & Lammertyn, 2003). ...
... De afgelopen jaren zijn er naast het klassieke vrijwilligerswerk nieuwe verschijningsvormen van vrijwilligerswerk ontstaan en zijn de beweegredenen van vrijwilligers diverser geworden. Het klassieke vrijwilligerswerk is sterk verbonden met maatschappelijke verbanden zoals de katholieke kerk, waar trouwe vrijwilligers vanuit een gemeenschapsgevoel en een ideologische drijfveer betekenisvol willen zijn voor de samenleving (Van Baren & Meijs, 2014;Hustinx & Lammertyn, 2003). Deze traditionele maatschappelijke verbanden zijn, mede door de ontzuiling, steeds verder afgebrokkeld (Bochhoven, . ...
... Een ander kenmerk is dat zij dat zij dat structureel doen, dat wil zeggen, een vast moment per week. Hun motieven zijn vooral van altruïstische aard: zij willen bijdragen aan het algemene belang en het geluk van anderen (Van Baren & Meijs, 2014;Hustinx & Lammertyn, 2003). ...
... De afgelopen jaren zijn er naast het klassieke vrijwilligerswerk nieuwe verschijningsvormen van vrijwilligerswerk ontstaan en zijn de beweegredenen van vrijwilligers diverser geworden. Het klassieke vrijwilligerswerk is sterk verbonden met maatschappelijke verbanden zoals de katholieke kerk, waar trouwe vrijwilligers vanuit een gemeenschapsgevoel en een ideologische drijfveer betekenisvol willen zijn voor de samenleving (Van Baren & Meijs, 2014;Hustinx & Lammertyn, 2003). Deze traditionele maatschappelijke verbanden zijn, mede door de ontzuiling, steeds verder afgebrokkeld (Bochhoven, . ...
... Given the challenges of building an integrated theory for volunteering (see Hustinx et al., 2010;, much mainstream literature has focused on analyses and typologies which capture the multiple dimensions and forms of voluntary practice (Hustinx & Lammertyn, 2003). Most evidence, however, has been framed by accounts from/within the global North which then poses a challenge when analysing volunteering in the global South and across contexts. ...
Research
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This research project is a collaboration between VSO and the Centre for International Development at Northumbria University. VSO is the world's leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. VSO brings people together to share skills, build capabilities and promote international understanding and action. We work with partner organisations at every level of society, from government organisations at a national level to health and education facilities at a local level.
... There is recognition across the sector of the challenges of building an integrated theory of volunteering (Hustinx et al., 2010;Wilson & Musick, 1997), therefore analyses and typologies have reflected on the multiple dimensions and forms of voluntary practice (Hustinx & Lammertyn, 2003). Most of the existing body of evidence, however, has been framed by accounts from/within the global North, posing challenges for analysing volunteerism across contexts. ...
Research
Full-text available
This research project is a collaboration between VSO and the Centre for International Development at Northumbria University. VSO is the world's leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. VSO brings people together to share skills, build capabilities and promote international understanding and action. We work with partner organisations at every level of society, from government organisations at a national level to health and education facilities at a local level.
... This shift makes the retention of volunteers a major concern (Harp et al, 2017;Huang et al, 2020), as non-profit organisations are dependent on stable and predictable voluntary engagement (Oostlander et al, 2014). The detachment between volunteers and organisations, and the increased self-directed focus among volunteers (Hustinx and Lammertyn, 2003;Eimhjellen et al, 2018), mean that work settings and the experienced work environment in non-profit organisations will become increasingly important. A better understanding of volunteers' experience of being part of and contributing to an organisation might therefore be useful when striving to keep volunteers engaged in long-term projects (Alfes et al, 2017). ...
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Across Europe, welfare systems are being challenged by demographic changes and increasing socioeconomic differences. Voluntary work has been suggested as part of the solution, but the retention of volunteers within non-profit organisations is increasingly problematic. For the study on which this article is based, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 volunteers at a cafe with a socially oriented profile, aimed at marginalised people in Oslo, Norway. The aim was to gain in-depth knowledge of long-term volunteers' experiences at the organisation to better understand retention. Four main themes were identified through the analysis: fulfilment, the mastering of tasks, influence and belonging. These themes can be interpreted as being associated with the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs of competence, autonomy and relatedness, postulated by self-determination theory. The study therefore provides insights into what factors are important in creating an autonomy-supportive work context to encourage volunteers' longlasting commitment. Key words volunteer retention • sustained motivation • basic psychological needs • autonomy support To cite this article: Arka, T., Ellingsen-Dalskau, L. and Ihlebaek, C (2022) Long-term commitment to voluntary social work-the role of an autonomy-supportive work environment, Voluntary Sector Review, XX(XX): 1-15,
... In general volunteerism literature, evidence suggests a constant "transformation" and "radical change" in the nature of volunteering worldwide. Overall, this evolving paradigm has seen the social movement of volunteerism move from a 'collectivistic' to an 'individualistic' approach (Eckstein, 2001;Hustinx & Lammertyn, 2003), a 'membership-based' to a 'program-based' approach (Meijs & Hoogstad, 2001), and from an 'institutionalised" to "self-organised' approach (Hustinx, 2010;Yotsumoto, 2010;Lockwood et al., 2016). Studies investigating volunteerism commonly contrast and justify this social shift in terms of the 'what' and 'why', but avoid exploring how these trends emerged. ...
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The finding of the study suggests that volunteerism in the context of corporates can be achieved when employers and employees agree to keep its principles untouched. The L4CI was found to exemplify a way-out when its examined system structure proved to respect volunteerism’s criteria including free will, unpaid, personal, and offering benefit to other parties. Factors influencing the formation of the EV project in this case study were found to be temporal and event-based. The holistic view revealed various factors arising from multiple levels of investigation. These levels included external, institutional, and EV group level.
... Lewis, 2005;Smith & Laurie, 2010;Lough, 2015) a fő motivációt a szegény országokért való társadalmi felelősségvállalás jelentette, amely a globális problémákra (éhezés, oktatás, egészségügy, társadalmi egyenlőség stb.) közös szolidaritáson alapuló megoldásokat 10 keresett, napjainkban az önkéntesek egyéni motivációi árnyaltabbá és komplexebbé váltak. A korábban meghatározó morális etikai meggyőződés és a közösség iránti elköteleződés mellett egyre nagyobb súllyal jelennek meg az önkéntesek egyéni céljai és érdekei (Hustinx & Lammerty, 2003), egyre fontosabb az individualizmus és altruista hozzáállás közötti finom egyensúly megtalálása (Wuthnow, 1991). Noha az önkéntesek motivációjában továbbra is meghatározó az ismeretlenek iránti segítő szándék (pl. ...
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Az elmúlt időszakunkat a COVID 19 járvány jegyében éltük át. Nagyon sokan a betegséggel küzdöttek, sokan a hozzátartozóik és barátaik egészsége miatt aggódtak. Mindenkit másképp érintett ez az időszak, de abban egységes, hogy mentálisan mindenkit érintett a bezártság, a korlátozások az interakciók hiánya. Ez az Észak-magyarországi hátrányos helyzetű régió lakosságánál még erőteljesebben manifesztálódik, hiszen a nem megfelelő életkörülmények, és a már eleve fennálló az országos átlagnál rosszabb mentális és szomatikus egészségi állapot, frusztrációt eredményez, mely erőszakos magatartásban nyilvánulhat meg. Kutatási célunk volt feltárni az Észak- magyarországi hátrányos helyzetű régió 18 év feletti felnőtt lakosságának mentális állapotát, agressziós szintjét és annak pandémia időszaka alatti változását. A kutatáshoz a Buss–Perry agresszió kérdőívet alkalmaztuk. Az online mintavétellel megvalósított kohorszvizsgálat nem reprezentatív, viszont a nagyszámú minta jól tükrözi a lakosság mentális állapotát, a különböző vonásagressziók jelenlétét. A járvány III. hullámában a vizsgálatot újra elindítottuk, melyben az agressziós szint változását kívánjuk feltárni. Eredmények. A kérdőívet 528 töltötte ki, áltagéletkoruk 39,4±13,1 év. A megkérdezettek 16,7%-a esett át a COVID-19 fertőzésen, 37,9%-uk bizonytalan abban, hogy átesett-e a betegségen. A betegségen átesett válaszadók többsége (50,4%) enyhe, 47,8% pedig közepes erősségű tünetekkel vészelte át a betegséget. Amikor már a bővebb környezetre kérdeztünk rá, akkor már lényegesen nagyobb arányú megbetegedésről számoltak be: minden válaszadó háztartásában fordult elő fertőzés. A vizsgálatban résztvevők összesített agressziós indexe 64,3±16,2, ami nem éri el a küszöbindexet. A nemek (p=0,008) és az életkor (p=0,0002) tekintetében szignifikáns különbség mutatkozik, a fiatalabb férfiak agressziós indexe, mint az várható is volt magasabb a nők indexénél. A lakóhelyet vizsgálva megfigyelhető, hogy az agressziós index és a lakóhely között szignifikáns különbség található (p=0,05), a nagyvárosokban élőknél a legalacsonyabb az agressziós érték. Szintén szignifikánsan magasabb (p=0,045) az agressziós indexük a Covid-19 fertőzésen átesett egyéneknek. A vonásagressziót vizsgálva megállapítható, hogy a verbális agresszió meghaladja a küszöbértéket, viszont a legmagasabb szórása a hosztilitásnak (sd: 5,94680) volt. Összegzés. A lakosság agressziós szintjének vizsgálata is esetében is azt tapasztaltuk, hogy az értékek nem érték el a küszöbértéket. A férfiak lényegesen agresszívabbak a nőknél, viszont a nagyvárosokban élőknél kevésbé nyilvánul meg az agresszív magatartás. A térségben a verbális agresszió jelenik meg markánsan, de határozottabban van jelen a düh és a hosztilitási index is, ami gyakran szociokulturális magatartási formaként van jelen a hátrányos helyzetű településeken és nem a pandémia alatt manifesztálódott.
... Lewis, 2005;Smith & Laurie, 2010;Lough, 2015) a fő motivációt a szegény országokért való társadalmi felelősségvállalás jelentette, amely a globális problémákra (éhezés, oktatás, egészségügy, társadalmi egyenlőség stb.) közös szolidaritáson alapuló megoldásokat 10 keresett, napjainkban az önkéntesek egyéni motivációi árnyaltabbá és komplexebbé váltak. A korábban meghatározó morális etikai meggyőződés és a közösség iránti elköteleződés mellett egyre nagyobb súllyal jelennek meg az önkéntesek egyéni céljai és érdekei (Hustinx & Lammerty, 2003), egyre fontosabb az individualizmus és altruista hozzáállás közötti finom egyensúly megtalálása (Wuthnow, 1991). Noha az önkéntesek motivációjában továbbra is meghatározó az ismeretlenek iránti segítő szándék (pl. ...
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Full-text available
Lakatos- Rucska: Észlelt stressz a COVID-19 világjárvány második és harmadik hullámában Észak-Magyarországon Elméleti háttér. A 2019 végén megjelent új koronavírus (SARS-CoV-2) 2020 tavaszán Európát, Magyarországot is elérte. A világjárvány egész korábbi életformánkat felborította, erős stressz-forrássá vált. A vírusfertőzéstől való félelmen túl napi életvezetésünk, kapcsolattartási-, tanulási- és munkamódjaink is komoly változáson estek át. A szokásos viselkedési rutinok elvesztésének kellemetlensége mellett sokaknak komoly egzisztenciális nehézségekkel kell szembenézniük, ez további stresszfaktorként van jelen mind a mai napig. Az első hullám lecsengését követően részben visszarendeződött ugyan az élet, ám a járvány 2020 őszén második, majd 2021 tavaszán harmadik hullámban tért vissza. Mivel az egyes hullámok eltérő élethelyzeteket hoztak, a várt hatások is különbözőek lehetnek. Cél. Kutatásunk célja az Észak-kelet magyarországi régió lakosainak mentális állapotfelmérése, a pandémia második és harmadik hullámában tapasztalható pszichológiai jelenségek − az észlelt stressz, az egészségszorongás, a pszichológiai jóllét és a remény összefüggéseinek pontosabb megértése. Módszerek. Kutatásunk első adatfelvétele a világjárvány második hullámában, 2020 decemberében történt. Ebben a szakaszban a kérdőívet 528 fő töltötte ki. Kutatásunk második adatfelvételét a pandémia harmadik hullámának magyarországi megjelenésekor, 2021 márciusában indítottuk el, az adatfelvétel jelenleg is zajlik. A második adatfelvétel kapcsán arra vagyunk kíváncsiak, hogy a járvány természete (gyors terjedés, súlyosabb kórlefolyás) illetve az oltóanyaghoz való hozzáférés, vagy annak hiánya milyen módon befolyásolja a pszichés jelenségeket. Az online survey kutatásba mindkét adatfelvételkor 18. évüket betöltött válaszadók kerültek be. Eredmények. A pandémia második hullámának idején végzett kutatásunk adatfelvételéből származó eredmények egybecsengnek azokkal a nemzetközi és hazai vizsgálatokkal, amelyek a COVID-19 pszichés egészségre gyakorolt negatív hatását igazolták. A vizsgált, szocioökonómiai szempontból hátrányos térségben élők körében nagy biztonsággal megállapítható a pandémia okozta stresszszint, az egészségszorongás szintjének emelkedése és a mentális jóllét romlása közötti összefüggés. Az észlelt stresszszint ugyanakkor fordított összefüggést mutat a remény érzésével, valamint a vallásos hit és a vallási közösséghez való tartozás tényével, azaz az érzelmi megküzdéssel. Összegzés. Bár eredményeink nem reprezentatívak, a minta informatív képet ad az Észak-kelet Magyarországon élők pszichés jellemzőiről a COVID19 világjárvány második és harmadik hullámának idején. Az elemzésben feltárt összefüggések és azokból levonható következtetések elengedhetetlenek a prevenciós és intervenciós munka sikeréhez, és gyakorlati fontossággal bírnak az egészségügyi és szociális területen dolgozó szakemberek számára.
... Lewis, 2005;Smith & Laurie, 2010;Lough, 2015) a fő motivációt a szegény országokért való társadalmi felelősségvállalás jelentette, amely a globális problémákra (éhezés, oktatás, egészségügy, társadalmi egyenlőség stb.) közös szolidaritáson alapuló megoldásokat 10 keresett, napjainkban az önkéntesek egyéni motivációi árnyaltabbá és komplexebbé váltak. A korábban meghatározó morális etikai meggyőződés és a közösség iránti elköteleződés mellett egyre nagyobb súllyal jelennek meg az önkéntesek egyéni céljai és érdekei (Hustinx & Lammerty, 2003), egyre fontosabb az individualizmus és altruista hozzáállás közötti finom egyensúly megtalálása (Wuthnow, 1991). Noha az önkéntesek motivációjában továbbra is meghatározó az ismeretlenek iránti segítő szándék (pl. ...
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Perge et all.: Ember-állat interakció: Emocionális hatás vizsgálata menhelyi kutyákkal kialakított kapcsolat során: Fokozódó érdeklődés mutatkozik az ember-állat interakciók lehetséges egészségre gyakorolt kedvező hatásai iránt. Az állatok megfigyelése már önmagában is pozitív hatású. Emocionális hatásait tekintve az állatok képzés és akaratlagos figyelem nélkül is képesek az együttérzésre, állandóság-és biztonságérzést adnak, segítenek fenntartani a lelki egyensúlyt. Szociális hatásai közül lényeges, hogy csökkentik mind az egyedüllétet, mind pedig a magányérzetet. Társaságuk mellett továbbá egy kutya jelenlétében gazdája megközelíthetőbbnek tűnik. Fizikai hatását tekintve pedig a stresszmutatók vonatkozásában is hasznos lehet egy állat közelsége. Jelen kutatás menhelyen élő kutyák sétáltatásával vagy egyéb módon történő kontakt létrejöttével kialakult pozitív hatások mérésére fókuszált. A kutatásban kísérlet történt arra, hogy a kutyák jelenlétének kedvező hatásai olyan környezetben legyenek vizsgálva, amely természetesebb és a kapcsolat kialakítása kevésbé feszélyeztető. A kutatás célja volt megvizsgálni, hogy az ember-kutya interakció milyen szinten járulhat hozzá a stresszel való megküzdéshez, a feszültség csökkentéséhez. Célja volt továbbá beazonosítani a potenciális lehetőségeket, beleértve, hogy a menhelyi kutyákkal történő kapcsolat kialakítása innovatív eszköszként hatékonyan alkalmazható-e az érzelmi állapot javítására. A Miskolci Egyetem Egészségügyi Kar munkatársai a Felsőoktatási Intézményi Kiválósági Program 2018-ban induló több lépcsős kutatásában az Abaúj térségben kezdték meg sokrétű kutatásukat, amelyben a mentális egészség javítására élménydús programok lehetőségét fogalmazták meg, az intervenciós terv elemei között megjelenik többek között a szabadidő és a rekreáció is. Az adatgyűjtés a Spielberger-féle Állapot-Vonás Szorongás Kérdőívvel valósult meg a vizsgálatba bevont menhelyet, telepet látogatók segítségével. Az aktuális érzelmi állapot feltérképezése mellett annak esetleges változása is felmérésre került elő-és utóteszteléssel. A kapott eredmények fontos információt nyújtanak a menhelyen élő kutyákkal történő kontakt hatásáról, amely hozzájárulhat olyan egészségügyi programok kidolgozásához, amelyek mind a kutyákra, mind a gondozást végzőkre pozitív hatással bírhatnak.
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