Continuity and Change in Voluntary Action: Patterns, trends and Understandings
Rose Lindsey and John Mohan with Elizabeth Mecalfe and Sarah Bulloch
There are great expectations of voluntary action in contemporary Britain but there is 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 life-courses. 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.