A Social Profile
Marc A. Musick and John Wilson
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/28/2007
Format: Hardback 7 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-34929-3
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Winner, 2009 ARNOVA Best Book Award

Who tends to volunteer and why? What causes attract certain types of volunteers? What motivates people to volunteer? How can volunteers be persuaded to continue their service? Making use of a broad range of survey information to offer a detailed portrait of the volunteer in America, Volunteers provides an important resource for everyone who works with volunteers or is interested in their role in contemporary society.

Mark A. Musick and John Wilson address issues of volunteer motivation by focusing on individuals' subjective states, their available resources, and the influence of gender and race. In a section on social context, they reveal how volunteer work is influenced by family relationships and obligations through the impact of schools, churches, and communities. They consider cross-national differences in volunteering and historical trends, and close with consideration of the research on the organization of volunteer work and the consequences of volunteering for the volunteer.

Author Bio

Marc A. Musick is Associate Professor of Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in the sociology of health and social psychology.

John Wilson is Professor of Sociology at Duke University. He has published more than 50 articles on volunteerism and the impact of race, gender, religion, and leisure on volunteering in publications such as Contemporary Sociology, Social Forces, Social Science Quarterly, and American Sociological Review.


“A much needed book for both scholars and practitioners. It covers a wide range of topics dealing with volunteering. . . . A major contribution.”
 — Virginia Hodgkinson, Center for Voluntary Organizations and Service

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Table of Contents


Part 1. An Introduction to Volunteering
1. The Importance of Studying Volunteering
2. What Is Volunteering?

Part 2. Subjective Dispositions
3. Personality
4. Motives
5. Values, Norms, and Attitudes

Part 3. Individual Resources
6. Socio-Economic Resources
7. Time and Health
8. Gender
9. Race

Part 4. The Social Context of Volunteering
10. The Life Course: The Early Stages
11. The Life Course: The Later Stages
12. Social Resources
13. Volunteer Recruitment
14. Schools and Congregations
15. Community, Neighborhood, City, and Region
16. Cross-National Differences
17. Trends in Volunteering

Part 5. The Organization of Volunteer Work
18. Volunteer Tasks
19. The Volunteer Role

Part 6. The Consequences of Volunteering
20. Citizenship and Prosocial Behavior
21. Occupation, Income, and Health
22. Conclusion


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