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Title: For ever, for everyone? : patterns of volunteering : the case of the National Trust
Author: Harflett, Naomi
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 738X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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Formal volunteering, through an organisation, is frequently associated with providing benefits to individuals and to communities. However, surveys consistently show that participation in formal volunteering varies by class, ethnicity, age and gender. This research seeks to expand upon existing theories which have identified that participation in formal volunteering is shaped by the possession of human, social and cultural capital, by applying Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, capital and field to the study of volunteering in the National Trust. Drawing on over 12,000 responses to a National Trust volunteer survey, and 50 semi-structured interviews with volunteers and paid staff, this research explores the relationship between different types of capital and volunteering. To date, the perspective that formal volunteering requires the possession of resources or capital has not been integrated with literature which recognises that volunteering can be a form of work or leisure. Interviews reveal that people volunteer for the National Trust as a replacement for the positive aspects of paid work in retirement, as a way of gaining work experience, for pleasure and enjoyment, and as a way of participating in heritage or the countryside. Explanations for the inequality in particip ation of formal volunteering can be improved by recognising that volunteering is a form of work or leisure, which requires capital to perform, and which produces further capital. While formal volunteering is often promoted as a way to tackle social problems, in practice, the case of the National Trust suggests that volunteering can exacerbate social inequality by enabling those with resources the opportunity to gain more. This thesis argues that Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, capital and field, and the work and leisure perspectives on volunteering, can be applied to extend existing resource explanations and improve understanding of why participation in formal volunteering varies by class, ethnicity, age and gender.
Supervisor: Mohan, John ; Roth, Silke Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HT Communities. Classes. Races