Browsing Masters Degrees (Sociology and Social Anthropology) by browse.metadata.advisor "Du Plessis, Jacob Marthinus Johannes"
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- ItemUnderstanding volunteerism in South Africa : a mixed methods approach(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-12) Seabe, Dineo Shirley; Du Plessis, Jacob Marthinus Johannes; Burger, Ronelle; Stellenbosch University.Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The past two decades have seen a growing interest in volunteering in South Africa as the new democracy struggles with providing services while ensuring the economic and social inclusion of its populace. This interest is inspired by the desire, especially by government, to harness the benefits of volunteering to assist in dealing with the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inadequate levels of service delivery. However, because individual characteristics, needs and attitudes are linked to volunteering, it requires a careful understanding of its determinants and motivations if its potential for development is to be realised (Anheier & Salamon, 1999). This research therefore investigated which human, social and cultural capital variables best explain volunteering in South Africa. The aim was to understand how the interaction of poverty, inequality, and religious adherence in the country influence the chances of volunteering, the choice of activity and the sense people make of their participation. The understanding of this interaction is important, because as much as volunteering is “hailed as supporting democratic and participatory principles” the reality may be that it “perpetuates existing power imbalances”, and thereby serves to entrench existing inequalities (Hustinx, Cnaan & Handy, 2010, p. 426). To achieve the above aims the researcher adopted a holistic approach to the study of volunteering, with both an integrated theory and research design. Consequently, Wilson and Musick’s (1997) integrated resources theory of volunteering guided the study. Additionally, in line with the research aims and theory, a sequential mixed methods design was employed, consisting of two phases. In research Phase I, the 2001 South African wave of the World Values Survey was examined through logistic and descriptive analysis to examine the patterns and determinants of volunteering. In research Phase II, the study investigated which human, social and cultural capital factors feature in volunteers’ interpretations of their actions. The findings of Phase I revealed that most South Africans partake in formal volunteering and prefer to do so in religious, community and health and sports organisations. Additionally, they showed that, true to the findings of other studies, human capital is an important determinant of volunteering. The results indicate that human capital factors such as educational attainment and income form the basis for certain groups to be excluded from volunteer activities. Another interesting result among the human capital variables was the negative relationship between employment and volunteering. Prejudice and civic-mindedness were consistent positive predictors of volunteering among the social capital variables, while religiosity also came out as a significant predictor of volunteering. Participants’ narratives in research Phase II revealed that altruism and egoistic influences are important factors in decisions to volunteer. This is evident in how they understood volunteering as being an expression of ‘Ubuntu’, but at the same time a means to employment. Indeed, these two themes emerged as the most common themes in participants’ constructions. Most participants noted giving back to their communities as a reason, yet some also mentioned volunteering as a means to survive the harsh township life of poverty, unemployment and crime and violence. This instrumentalising of volunteering was also evident in the participants’ reasons to stay committed.