Mohan, John ,
Staetsky, Laura (eds.)
Individual voluntary participation in the United Kingdom: an overview of survey information. Birmingham, GB, Third Sector Research Centre, 30pp.
(Third Sector Research Centre Working Paper, 6).
The measurement of voluntary activity is not straightforward; definitional and methodological questions affect the responses. This is true within the context of the UK but also in other countries of the developed world (Archambault 1993, Kendall and Knapp 1993, Gidron and Katz 1998, Salamon and Sokolowski 2001). The existence of definitional difficulties and ambiguities has a detrimental impact on the quality of academic research and policy-making in this sphere. Firstly, it impedes orderly collection of statistical information on volunteering in administrative sources. Also, it complicates the collection of survey information: the absence of well-understood and widely-agreed concepts of voluntarism in the public mind introduces uncertainty in people’s responses. To date, however, there has not been an attempt to compare findings of different surveys systematically. This paper aims to fill the gap in research by reviewing the available surveys for the UK. It focuses specifically on the methods used to obtain information on volunteering and the comparability of the results generated by different surveys.
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