The age of the volunteer: narrating generation as a motivational factor in volunteering

Document type
Article
Author(s)
Slight, Audrey
Publisher
NCVO
Date of publication
1 April 2002
Series
Voluntary Action: the journal of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Vol. 4; Number 2
Subject(s)
Volunteering
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Articles

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Volunteering is currently identified as a constituent in recent policy debates orientated toward the socialisation of responsibility. This article brings together theory and empirical evidence to demonstrate how one group of older volunteers identify their point of reference for volunteering as the welfare state arrangements set up in the post-war period. The significance of such constitutive attachments, generated through their location in the 'welfare state generation', is explored as a motivational impulse for voluntary activity. The article concludes that if government agendas continue to highlight volunteering as a mechanism of inclusion, and also as a constituent in social change orientated toward the regeneration of civil society and the production of 'active' forms of citizenship, then this must be viewed in the context of people’s lives as a whole, not merely postulated as the locus of solidaristic bonds that may not be lived by the people who are expected to produce them.



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