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The Ambiguities of Volunteering

  • Johan von EssenEmail author
  • Morten Frederiksen
  • Jill Loga
Chapter
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)

Abstract

This chapter contributes to the on-going discussion about societal changes from a civil society perspective. By exploring and discussing attitudes among the populations in the Scandinavian countries towards the societal role of volunteering and its relationship to government, public services and the business sector, the chapter offers an inventory of opinions concerning the division of responsibility for welfare in society and the moral justifications and concerns underpinning these opinions. The analysis unfolds a significant pattern: First, it is important that welfare services have sufficient quality and are efficiently produced. Second, it is important that welfare is fairly distributed, as everyone is equally entitled to welfare. Third, it is important that welfare is human and genuine. However, since volunteering is perceived as an opportunity for the provision of welfare in society, it creates moral dilemmas as it challenges the traditional welfare state. This has bearing on the future legitimacy of the Scandinavian universal welfare state tradition, demanding a balance between the engagement of volunteers and the welfare state as a guarantor of quality and equality.

Keywords

Volunteering Moral dilemmas Welfare mix Moral justifications Legitimacy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan von Essen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Morten Frederiksen
    • 2
  • Jill Loga
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Civil Society Research, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University CollegeStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Social WorkAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  3. 3.Departement of Business Administration, Western Norway University of Applied SciencesBergenNorway

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