Présentation
 
2004 - Volume 45 > Numéro 4

ISSN 0035-2969

Between individualization and participation : engagement in association-linked volunteer work
Stéphanie VERMEERSCH

pp. 681-710

 

Comparing two types of volunteer-work commitment or engagement, the neighborhood activist type and the charity type, leads to positing that the cornerstone of the meaning of contemporary association-linked volunteer-work engagement is the identity-founding that is realized through associative affiliation. In a social context where institutions are being recomposed and a high value is placed on individual autonomy, doing volunteer work represents a potential stimulant for identity construction in that it offers the individual a renewed collective framework. The ability of volunteer-work engagement to reconcile individualization and social participation is what explains the central position such engagement is likely to occupy with respect to social-identity mechanisms. Underlying the two forces that drive this kind of engagement, namely, ethics and pleasure, are 1) the contemporary imperative of realizing a unique, autonomous self – this in turn explains rejection of high religious or political morality, the individualized relation to ethics repertoires and to association arguments themselves, and the emergence of a hedonistic dimension closely linked to the individual’s relation to self – and 2) a will to participate socially, which is revealed by the values mobilized in volunteer-work engagement but also by the dialogical nature of the pleasure emergence sources, a will that becomes necessity within a framework of identity negotiation that requires otherness. Because association volunteer work allows the fundamental « individualization-participation » and is replayed, it is one socializing activity among others and should be analyzed as such.

 

 

 
  Rédaction
  Actualités
  Sommaires
  Rechercher
  Publier
  S'abonner
  Indexation
  Accès libre
  Diffusion
 
  English Issue
 
Copyright Revue française de sociologie