Changing Patterns of Volunteering and Participation

  • Ivar Eimhjellen
  • Kari Steen-Johnsen
  • Bjarte Folkestad
  • Guro Ødegård
Chapter
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)

Abstract

In this chapter, we investigate whether the Norwegian model of organizational participation and volunteering is changing due to exogenous processes of individualization, digitalization, and migration. Analyzing a varied set of data, including population surveys and qualitative case studies, some interesting and paradoxical results were discovered. Regarding the process of individualization, we identify the development of a more reflexive and individualized form of volunteering indicated by a loosening of membership bonds between individuals and voluntary organizations, a multiplication of arenas for volunteering, more short-term volunteering, and an increased self-oriented motivation for volunteering. However, we also observe stability in (high) levels, volumes and areas of volunteering (sport, leisure, and culture), and a continuing importance of local contexts for mobilizing volunteers. We see this stability as an indication of a rather successful, multifaceted reconfiguration of Norwegian civil society, in the sense that it adapts to new, more individualized motives and practices among volunteers. With regard to digitalization, we find digital media mainly to support participation and volunteering, both within and outside of traditional organizations by underpinning reflexive individualized volunteering and supporting traditional organizations informational services. With regard to immigration, analyses show lower levels of voluntary participation (tied to lower levels of education and income) among immigrants and their descendants and the formation of and larger participation in religious, immigrant- and culture-specific organizations and networks. Although these particular findings may indicate challenges for the traditional Norwegian model of volunteering in integrating the immigrant population, the overall trends found in this chapter are indicative of adaptation on the part of the Norwegian model to larger social processes of change.

Keywords

Volunteering Scandinavian model Individualization Digitalization Immigration Stability Reconfiguration 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivar Eimhjellen
    • 1
  • Kari Steen-Johnsen
    • 2
  • Bjarte Folkestad
    • 1
  • Guro Ødegård
    • 3
  1. 1.Uni Research Rokkan CentreBergenNorway
  2. 2.Institute for Social ResearchOsloNorway
  3. 3.Center for Welfare and Labor Research (OsloMet)OsloNorway

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