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Title: An exploration of less visible very small groups and organisations(VSOs)in West Belfast; politics, policy and social need
Author: Faulkner, Lisa R
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2013
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Throughout the 1990s the weak legitimacy of state institutions and the realisation that the state alone could not meet all social needs came to the fore. This brought with it a surge of interest in the voluntary sector and the role its organisations play in contributing to the alleviation of human problems. The emphasis placed on voluntary action at the national and international levels also brought with it an awareness of the loose and amorphous networks of individuals, who come together on a regular basis for the good of their communities (Kim, 2,004). Nonetheless, third sector inquiry has remained largely focused on those larger organisations with a service-providing function (Toepler, 2003). As a result, there is virtually no discussion of what small non-formal groups are, how they work or what theoretical and empirical research traditions apply to them (Cnaan, et al. 2006). While there is now an evidence base in the United Kingdom (UK) about the types of small groups which make up what is commonly referred to as the 'below the radar' sector, this attention has not materialised to the same extent in Northern Ireland. In attempting to fill this gap in our knowledge about the small, nonformal groups at the community level, this study employed various qualitative methods to identify' and recruit these essentially 'hidden' groups, within the predominately Catholic Falls and the predominately Protestant Shankill areas of inner city west Belfast. Given that these groups are rarely studied from a perspective that is both descriptive and conceptual (Cnaan, et al. 2006.1), various ingredients of the grounded theory approach were also adopted in this study in order to view, what are defined in this research as less visible, very small organisations (VSOs), through the most useful conceptual lenses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available