Making Volunteers

Author: Nina Eliasoph
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400838827
Release Date: 2011-02-28
Genre: Social Science

Volunteering improves inner character, builds community, cures poverty, and prevents crime. We've all heard this kind of empowerment talk from nonprofit and government-sponsored civic programs. But what do these programs really accomplish? In Making Volunteers, Nina Eliasoph offers an in-depth, humorous, wrenching, and at times uplifting look inside youth and adult civic programs. She reveals an urgent need for policy reforms in order to improve these organizations and shows that while volunteers learn important lessons, they are not always the lessons that empowerment programs aim to teach. With short-term funding and a dizzy mix of mandates from multiple sponsors, community programs develop a complex web of intimacy, governance, and civic life. Eliasoph describes the at-risk youth served by such programs, the college-bound volunteers who hope to feel selfless inspiration and plump up their resumés, and what happens when the two groups are expected to bond instantly through short-term projects. She looks at adult "plug-in" volunteers who, working in after-school programs and limited by time, hope to become like beloved aunties to youth. Eliasoph indicates that adult volunteers can provide grassroots support but they can also undermine the family-like warmth created by paid organizers. Exploring contradictions between the democratic rhetoric of empowerment programs and the bureaucratic hurdles that volunteers learn to navigate, the book demonstrates that empowerment projects work best with less precarious funding, more careful planning, and mandatory training, reflection, and long-term commitments from volunteers. Based on participant research inside civic and community organizations, Making Volunteers illustrates what these programs can and cannot achieve, and how to make them more effective.

Avoiding Politics

Author: Nina Eliasoph
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 052158759X
Release Date: 1998-08-13
Genre: Political Science

Nina Eliasoph's vivid portrait of American civic life reveals an intriguing culture of political avoidance. Despite the importance for democracy of open-ended political conversation among ordinary citizens, many Americans try hard to avoid appearing to care about politics. To discover how, where and why Americans create this culture of avoidance, the author accompanied suburban volunteers, activists, and recreation club members for over two years, listening to them talk - and avoid talking - about the wider world, together and in encounters with government, media, and corporate authorities. She shows how citizens create and express ideas in everyday life, contrasting their privately expressed convictions with their lack of public political engagement. Her book challenges received ideas about culture, power and democracy, while exposing the hard work of producing apathy.

The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Author: Jeffrey C. Alexander
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195377767
Release Date: 2012-01-26
Genre: Social Science

Explains the social science of cultural sociology, a study of the ways in which culture, society, politics, and economy interact in the world.

Elusive Togetherness

Author: Paul Lichterman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400842957
Release Date: 2012-01-06
Genre: Social Science

Many scholars and citizens alike have counted on civic groups to create broad ties that bind society. Some hope that faith-based civic groups will spread their reach as government retreats. Yet few studies ask how, if at all, civic groups reach out to their wider community. Can religious groups--long central in civic America--create broad, empowering social ties in an unequal, diverse society? Over three years, Paul Lichterman studied nine liberal and conservative Protestant-based volunteering and advocacy projects in a mid-sized American city. He listened as these groups tried to create bridges with other community groups, social service agencies, and low-income people, just as the 1996 welfare reforms were taking effect. Counter to long-standing arguments, Lichterman discovered that powerful customs of interaction inside the groups often stunted external ties and even shaped religion's impact on the groups. Comparing groups, he found that successful bridges outward depend on group customs which invite reflective, critical discussion about a group's place amid surrounding groups and institutions. Combining insights from Alexis de Tocqueville, John Dewey, and Jane Addams with contemporary sociology, Elusive Togetherness addresses enduring questions about civic and religious life that elude the popular "social capital" concept. To create broad civic relationships, groups need more than the right religious values, political beliefs, or resources. They must learn new ways of being groups.

The Politics of Volunteering

Author: Nina Eliasoph
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780745669564
Release Date: 2013-09-04
Genre: Political Science

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. 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. Claims about volunteering tend to be astronomical: it will create democracy, make you a better person, eliminate poverty, protect local cultures, and even prevent illness. 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.

Community Based Global Learning

Author: Eric Hartman
Publisher: Stylus Publishing, LLC
ISBN: 9781620360903
Release Date: 2018-08-31
Genre: Education

International education, service-learning, and community-based global learning programs are robust with potential. They can positively impact communities, grow civil society networks, and have transformative effects for students who become more globally aware and more engaged in global civil society – at home and abroad. Yet such programs are also packed with peril. Clear evidence indicates that poor forms of such programming have negative impacts on vulnerable persons, including medical patients and children, while cementing stereotypes and reinforcing patterns of privilege and exclusion. These dangers can be mitigated, however, through collaborative planning, design, and evaluation that advances mutually beneficial community partnerships, critically reflective practice, thoughtful facilitation, and creative use of resources. Drawing on research and insights from several academic disciplines and community partner perspectives, along with the authors’ decades of applied, community-based development and education experience, they present a model of community-based global learning that clearly espouses an equitable balance between learning methodology and a community development philosophy. Emphasizing the key drivers of community-driven learning and service, cultural humility and exchange, seeking global citizenship, continuous and diverse forms of critically reflective practice, and ongoing attention to power and privilege, this book constitutes a guide to course or program design that takes into account the unpredictable and dynamic character of domestic and international community-based global learning experiences, the varying characteristics of destination communities, and a framework through which to integrate any discipline or collaborative project. Readers will appreciate the numerous toolboxes and reflective exercises to help them think through the creation of independent programming or courses that support targeted learning and community-driven development. The book ultimately moves beyond course and program design to explore how to integrate these objectives and values in the wider curriculum and throughout formal and informal community-based learning partnerships.

Civic Imagination

Author: Gianpaolo Baiocchi
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317262411
Release Date: 2015-11-17
Genre: Political Science

The Civic Imagination provides a rich empirical description of civic life and a broader discussion of the future of democracy in contemporary America. Over the course of a year, five researchers observed and participated in 7 civic organisations in a mid-sized US city. They draw on this ethnographic evidence to map the 'civic imaginations' that motivate citizenship engagement in America today. The book unpacks how contemporary Americans think about and act toward positive social and political change while the authors' findings challenge contemporary assertions of American apathy. This will be an important book for students and academics interested in political science and sociology.

Media and the Restyling of Politics

Author: John Corner
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 0761949216
Release Date: 2003-08-18
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

Bringing together the work of leading academics in media and cultural studies, this book questions the ways in which emerging forms of political style relate not only to new conventions of celebrity and publicity but to ideas about representation, citizenship and the democratic process.

Bowling Alone

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780743203043
Release Date: 2001-08-07
Genre: History

Shows how changes in work, family structure, women's roles, and other factors have caused people to become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and democratic structures--and how they may reconnect.

Stategraphy

Author: Tatjana Thelen
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781785337017
Release Date: 2017-11-30
Genre: Social Science

Stategraphy-the ethnographic exploration of relational modes, boundary work, and forms of embeddedness of actors-offers crucial analytical avenues for researching the state. By exploring interactions and negotiations of local actors in different institutional settings, the contributors explore state transformations in relation to social security in a variety of locations spanning from Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans to the United Kingdom and France. Fusing grounded empirical studies with rigorous theorizing, the volume provides new perspectives to broader related debates in social research and political analysis.

Red State Religion

Author: Robert Wuthnow
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691150550
Release Date: 2012
Genre: History

No state has voted Republican more consistently or widely or for longer than Kansas. To understand red state politics, Kansas is the place. It is also the place to understand red state religion. The Kansas Board of Education has repeatedly challenged the teaching of evolution, Kansas voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, the state is a hotbed of antiabortion protest--and churches have been involved in all of these efforts. Yet in 1867 suffragist Lucy Stone could plausibly proclaim that, in the cause of universal suffrage, "Kansas leads the world!" How did Kansas go from being a progressive state to one of the most conservative? In Red State Religion, Robert Wuthnow tells the story of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas from territorial days to the present. He examines how faith mixed with politics as both ordinary Kansans and leaders such as John Brown, Carrie Nation, William Allen White, and Dwight Eisenhower struggled over the pivotal issues of their times, from slavery and Prohibition to populism and anti-communism. Beyond providing surprising new explanations of why Kansas became a conservative stronghold, the book sheds new light on the role of religion in red states across the Midwest and the United States. Contrary to recent influential accounts, Wuthnow argues that Kansas conservatism is largely pragmatic, not ideological, and that religion in the state has less to do with politics and contentious moral activism than with relationships between neighbors, friends, and fellow churchgoers. This is an important book for anyone who wants to understand the role of religion in American political conservatism.

The Search for Political Community

Author: Paul Lichterman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521483433
Release Date: 1996-09-19
Genre: Political Science

Study of environmental groups assessing different cultures of political commitment in post-traditional society.

From Access to Participation

Author: Emily Keaney
Publisher: Institute for Public Policy Research
ISBN: 1860302815
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Community development

"Argues that arts and heritage bodies need to do more to promote active engagement in culture and the governance of cultural organisations - focusing particularly on excluded groups." - cover.

Department Discipline

Author: Andrew Abbott
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226000990
Release Date: 1999-01
Genre: Education

In this detailed history of the Chicago School of Sociology, Andrew Abbott investigates central topics in the emergence of modern scholarship, paying special attention to "schools of science" and how such schools reproduce themselves over time. What are the preconditions from which schools arise? Do they exist as rigid rules or as flexible structures? How do they emerge from the day-to-day activities of academic life such as editing journals and writing papers? Abbott analyzes the shifts in social scientific inquiry and discloses the intellectual rivalry and faculty politics that characterized different stages of the Chicago School. Along the way, he traces the rich history of the discipline's main journal, the American Journal of Sociology. Embedded in this analysis of the school and its practices is a broader theoretical argument, which Abbott uses to redefine social objects as a sequence of interconnected events rather than as fixed entities. Abbott's theories grow directly out of the Chicago School's insistence that social life be located in time and place, a tradition that has been at the heart of the school since its founding one hundred years ago.

Nonprofit Organizations

Author: Helmut K. Anheier
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317914518
Release Date: 2014-04-16
Genre: Business & Economics

In this new edition of his popular textbook, Nonprofit Organizations: Theory, Management, Policy, Helmut K. Anheier has fully updated, revised and expanded his comprehensive introduction to this field. The text takes on an international and comparative dimensions perspective, detailing the background and concepts behind these organizations and examining relevant theories and central issues. Anheier covers the full range of nonprofit organizations – service providers, membership organizations, foundations, community groups – in different fields, such as arts and culture, social services and education. He introduces central terms such as philanthropy, charity, community, social entrepreneurship, social investment, public good and civil society, whilst explaining how the field spills over from public management, through nonprofit management and public administration. The previous edition won the Best Book Award at the American Academy of Management in 2006. Nonprofit Organizations: Theory, Management, Policy is an ideal resource for students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in both Europe and North America.