Kelemen, ML, Mangan, AML and Moffat, S (2017) More than a little act of kindness?: Towards a typology of volunteering as unpaid work. Sociology, 51 (6). pp. 1239-1256. ISSN 1469-8684

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Definitions of volunteering are widespread and complex, yet relatively little attention is given to volunteering as unpaid work, even though it intersects with the worlds of paid employment and the domestic sphere, cutting across individual/collective and public/private spaces. This article advances a typology of volunteering work (altruistic, instrumental, militant and forced volunteering/’voluntolding’) that illuminates the complexity and dynamism of volunteering. Using qualitative data from a study of 30 volunteers to explore practices of volunteering as they unfold in daily life, the typology provides much-needed conceptual building blocks for a theory of ‘volunteering as unpaid work’. This perspective helps transcend the binaries prevalent in the sociology of work and provides a lens to rethink what counts as work in contemporary society. It also invites further research about the effects of ‘voluntolding’ on individuals and society, and on the complex relationship between volunteering work and outcomes at a personal and collective level.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Sage at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: altruism, collectivism, individualism, sociology of work, volunteering, ‘voluntolding’, unpaid work
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Keele Management School
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2017 16:29
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2018 09:02

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