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Politics of Volunteering

ISBN-10: 074565004X
ISBN-13: 9780745650043
Edition: 2013
Authors: Nina Eliasoph
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Description: Many of us may have participated in grassroots groups, changing the world in small and big ways, from building playgrounds and feeding the homeless, to protesting wars and ending legal segregation. But beyond the obvious fruits of these activities,  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Polity Press
Publication date: 3/29/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

Many of us may have participated in grassroots groups, changing the world in small and big ways, from building playgrounds and feeding the homeless, to protesting wars and ending legal segregation. But beyond the obvious fruits of these activities, what are the broader consequences of volunteering for the participants, recipients of aid, and society as a whole? In this engaging new book, Nina Eliasoph encourages readers to reflect on their own experiences in civic associations as an entry point into bigger sociological, political, and philosophical issues, such as class inequality, how organizations work, differences in political systems around the globe, and the sources of moral selfhood. The claims about volunteering are astronomical: it will create democracy, make you a better person, eliminate poverty, protect local cultures, and even lower cholesterol. Eliasoph cuts through these assertions by drawing on empirical studies, key data, real–life case studies and a range of theoretical analyses. In doing so, the book provides students of sociology, political science, and communications studies with a framework for evaluating the role of civic associations in social and political life, as well as in their own lives as active citizens.

Jeffrey C. Alexander is the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University, where he is co-director of the Center for Cultural Sociology. Among his many influential books is The Civic Sphere (Oxford University Press, 2006). He is also co-editor of the Yale Cultural Sociology Series (Paradigm Publishers).

Introduction: What Axe Civic Associations?
Why Do Theorists Say Associations Are Crucial for Democracy?
Volunteering and Political Activism
Civic Association, the Market, and Government: How Do Different Societies Balance Them Differently?
Neo-Liberalism and Grassroots Organizations
What Happens to Civic Participation in Conditions of Vast Social Inequality?
Opening Up Civic Participation
Conclusion: Is Democracy in Our Future?
References
Index

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