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Voluntarism, Community Life, and the American Ethic : Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies - Robert S. Ogilvie

Voluntarism, Community Life, and the American Ethic

Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies

Hardcover

Published: 18th June 2004
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"This is a major contribution to the literature on social participation and voluntary action. It is the first systematic ethnographic study I know that treats volunteers and the institutions they create." -- John Van Til, author of Growing Civil Society

"Students and faculty interested in the issue of homelessness will find the book instructive... Recommended." -- Choice

Why do people volunteer, and what motivates them to stick with it? How do local organizations create community? How does voluntary participation foster moral development in volunteers to create a better citizenry? In this fascinating study of volunteers at the Partnership for the Homeless in New York City, Robert S. Ogilvie provides bold and engaging answers to these questions. He describes how volunteer programs such as the Partnership generate ethical development in and among participants and how the Partnership's volunteers have made it such a continued success since the early 1980s. Ogilvie's examination of voluntarism suggests that the American ethic is essential for sustaining community life and to the future well-being of a democratic society.

Ogilvie (city and regional planning, Univ. of California, Berkeley) attempts to place a case study of volunteers at two New York City church-based homeless shelters into a larger, sociological, theoretical framework. He is more successful in presenting a vivid portrait of the volunteers than he is at theorizing. The study of the centers is careful and insightful, but his treatment of the community literature is superficial and selective. The author draws on the concept of moral communities (Seymour Mandelbaum, Open Moral Communities, CH, Oct'00, 38-1013) as well as the literature of communities of practice (Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice, 1998). A final chapter that is both practical and prescriptive discusses the process of building community organizations that create community, rather than those designed to serve the community. Students and faculty interested in this issue of homelessness will find the book instructive, but those interested in larger issues in community sociology will likely be disappointed. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.A. A. Hickey, Western Carolina University, Choice, March 2005

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: Voluntarism and the American Ethicp. 1
The Partnership for the Homeless: The Tradition of Churches Helping the Homeless in New Yorkp. 9
In the Church Sheltersp. 31
Why People Volunteer in Church Shelters and Why They Keep at Itp. 71
The Mediating Role of the Church Sheltersp. 94
The Moral Effects of the Volunteer Experiencep. 147
The Church Shelters as Community-Generating Institutionsp. 171
Social Architecture: The Art of Building Community-Generating Institutionsp. 199
Conclusionp. 225
Research Methodsp. 231
Notesp. 237
Bibliographyp. 255
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780253344236
ISBN-10: 0253344239
Series: Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 18th June 2004
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.61