Class diversity and youth volunteering in the UK : applying Bourdieu's habitus and cultural capital

DEAN, Jonathan (2015). Class diversity and youth volunteering in the UK : applying Bourdieu's habitus and cultural capital. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 45 (1), 95S-113S.

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This article utilizes Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of habitus and cultural capital to offer some explanation as to why there is a lack of class diversity in formal volunteering in the United Kingdom. Recent studies have shown that participation in volunteering is heavily dependent on social class revolving around a highly committed middle-class “civic core” of volunteers. This article draws on original qualitative research to argue that the delivery of recent youth volunteering policies has unintentionally reinforced participation within this group, rather than widening access to diverse populations including working-class young people. Drawing on interviews with volunteer recruiters, it is shown that the pressure to meet targets forces workers to recruit middle-class young people whose habitus allows them to fit instantly into volunteering projects. Furthermore, workers perceive working-class young people as recalcitrant to volunteering, thereby reinforcing any inhabited resistance, and impeding access to the benefits of volunteering.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sociology, Politics and Policy Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1177/0899764015597781
Depositing User: Jonathan Dean
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 11:52
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2016 01:56

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