There are great expectations of voluntary action in contemporary Britain but limited in-depth insight into the level, distribution and understanding of what constitutes voluntary activity.Drawing on extensive survey data and written accounts of citizen engagement, this book charts change and continuity in voluntary activity since 1981.
How voluntary action has been defined and measured is considered alongside individuals’ accounts of their participation and engagement in volunteering over their lifecourses. Addressing fundamental questions such as whether the public are cynical about or receptive to calls for greater voluntary action, the book considers whether respective government expectations of volunteering can really be fulfilled. Is Britain really a “shared society”, or a “big society”, and what is the scope for expansion of voluntary effort?
This pioneering study combines rich, qualitative material from the Mass Observation Archive between 1981 and 2012, and data from many longitudinal and cross-sectional social surveys.
Part of the Third Sector Research Series, this book is informed by research undertaken at the Third Sector Research Centre, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Barrow Cadbury Trust.
Dr Rose Lindsey joined the Third Sector Research Centre at Southampton University in 2010, after taking four years out of academia to work as the CEO of a domestic abuse charity.
Dr Sarah Bulloch manages the research team at Scope; she was previously a researcher in the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Southampton.
Elizabeth Metcalfe started working on the 'Continuity and Change in Volunteering' study in September 2013 within the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Southampton.
John Mohan works in the third sector research centre (TSRC) University of Birmingham, where he directs quantitative work on datasets on third sector organisations and volunteering.
The changing policy environment for voluntary action from 1979;
Data, sources and definitions;
Trends in volunteering and trends in the voluntary sector;
Content and Context of Volunteering;
Why people volunteer: contextualising motivation;
Volunteering trajectories: individual patterns of volunteering over the life-course;
Attitudes to voluntary action;
“An important and innovative contribution to understanding how and why people engage in voluntary activity; how important they feel it is in their lives; and the ways in which it contributes to the wider community.” Colin Rochester, London School of Economics