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Title: An investigation into the contribution that women are making to communities through their involvement in small Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations (VCSOs) operating in the South West Region
Author: Crawley, J. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 9054
Awarding Body: Bath Spa University
Current Institution: Bath Spa University
Date of Award: 2016
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This research investigated the contribution that women are making to communities through their involvement in small Voluntary and community sector organisations (VCSOs) operating in the South West Region of England. The research explored the roles the women play and what type of involvement they have in the development and delivery of services through small VCSOs. It also considered what motivates the women to become involved and to stay involved in these small groups and how visible and valued that involvement is. The research utilised a feminist approach with mixed methods to provide a space for the voices of the women involved to be heard and over 200 women from small ‘Below the Radar’ (BTR) VCSOs took part including over 180 by completing scoping questionnaires, thirty-two in two focus groups and twelve who took part in semi-structured interviews. The study found the context and circumstances in which small VCSOs operate contained factors, which have either encouraged or discouraged the involvement of women in their communities, including issues related to women’s current position in society. The commitment, passion and desire to carry out work, which would benefit the whole community, were among the key reasons the women undertook the work, rather than financial reward or status. The work of the women involved in the research was also found to contribute to stocks of social capital in those communities. The research analysed the degree to which recent governments have sought to utilise the VCS to assist with the delivery of their own agendas. The research suggests that women’s involvement within the smaller BTR VCSOs could be conceptualised in a framework called the ‘Women Alchemists’ and that the use of the term ‘Women Led Organisations’ could more fully build on the contribution of women and to nurture it in a way which enables it to grow and be sustained without altering its nature.
Supervisor: McBeth, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available