How is the activity of volunteering changing? #volunteersweek

In today’s guest blog post Sue Kenny shares findings from research about the changing nature and shape of voluntary action and active citizenship is taking with the next generation…

Sue Kenny2.1There are many forms that contemporary active citizenship can take. It can be an expression of civic and civil commitment as well as a form of activism.  

Similarly, volunteering can be an expression of active citizenship in each of these forms.  For example, membership of  local council committees is a form of civic commitment; helping out in a community centre is a form of civil commitment and organising a protest march involves the activist form of active citizenship. Volunteering plays an important role in generating social capital through these different ways of participating in society.

All these types of active citizenship are familiar aspects of participation in civil society. Yet as we discuss in Challenging the third sector: Global prospects for active citizenship, an alternative paradigm of active citizenship and volunteering is emerging, largely out of the gaze of public scrutiny.

‘Tribe’ identity

It is found  particularly among young people. Indeed, many young people wish to avoid the formal world of organisations and volunteering altogether. This is not to say that they are antisocial, far from it, but rather that their sense of identity is shaped most strongly through friendship networks that may extend to a kind of ‘tribe’ identity.

Communication and connectedness are maintained and nurtured as much on-line as face-to-face. This less formally based active citizenship involves volunteering of a different kind. It is not about joining an organisation or a volunteering group. It is more casual and sporadic than the traditional forms of volunteering.


Challenging the third sector [FC]Challenging the third sector: Global prospects for active citizenship by Sue Kenny, Marilyn Taylor, Jenny Onys and Marjorie Mayo is available for the special offer price of £20.00 (RRP £70.00) as part of our #volunteersweek sale. 

Just enter promotional code PPVOLWEEK1 at the checkout to order your copy for ONLY £20.00.

If you liked this you might also like to check out our other great titles in volunteering that are also on sale as part of #volunteersweek here. Don’t forget the SALE ENDS Sunday 12th June so bag your books now!

VSR_OFC_Feb2016_72Don’t forget VSR is FREE to read for the whole 12 days of #VolunteersWeek so why not take a look here? Or if 12 days simply isn’t long enough (and we agree it probably isn’t!) why not click here to arrange a free institutional trial of the journal?

Interested in submitting to the journal? Please do take a look at our ‘instructions for authors’ here and to find out more about the journal just click here

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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