Exploring Personal Communities: A Review of Volunteering Processes


Resource authors: Mihaela Kelemen and Anita Mangan
Project: Exploring personal communities: A review of volunteering processes

Exploring Personal Communities: A Review of Volunteering Processes investigates the idea that personal communities contribute to the public good by offering ways to transcend commonplace dualisms such as public/private and individual/collective. The aim of the review is to explore the personal community through the lens of volunteering in order to shed light on the ways in which individuals experience and adjust to one another within and across communities. Drawing on a wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary review of over ninety books and journal articles, the report contributes four findings: it (a) positions personal communities by focusing on the idea that individualism can achieve social purposes and become a resource for public policy; (b) proposes a typology of volunteering that accounts for the multiple, simultaneous and often contradictory motivations of volunteers; (c) investigates the commodification of the voluntary sector and the loss of political voice ; (d) explores the social outcomes of volunteering and the central role of volunteering in the making of personal communities.

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