Continuity and change in volunteering: objectives

1.   To combine longitudinal qualitative and quantitative data on engaged UK individuals’ attitudes and behaviours towards volunteering during times of economic prosperity and adversity. In particular the intention is to investigate and understand continuities and change, between 1981-2012, in:

  • Individuals’ engagement with and trajectories in and out of volunteering.
  • Individuals’ motivations for and barriers to volunteering.
  • Individuals’ perceptions of their own and their community’s capacity for volunteering and meeting social need.
  • Individuals’ views on the roles and responsibilities of the State, local communities, and the individual, in meeting social need.

2.    To contribute to theoretical understandings of how individuals’ attitudes towards volunteering are constructed within specific political, economic, cultural and social policy contexts.

3. To build capacity in and contribute to mixed-methodological innovation by using the qualitative Mass Observation Archive as a source of panel-data as well as a source of thematic longitudinal data; and through the synthesis of this qualitative data with quantitative panel data.

4. To contribute to key user group debates on how recent legislative and policy changes relating to localism, welfare reform, and public service provision may shape views on volunteering, and the role of the individual in civil society.


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