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Governmentalities of volunteering: A study of regional Western Australia

Pick, D., Holmes, K. and Brueckner, M. (2011) Governmentalities of volunteering: A study of regional Western Australia. Volutas, 22 (3). pp. 390-408.

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The aim of this article is to investigate the governmentalities of volunteering in regional Western Australia. Drawing on interviews with 25 consenting volunteers and their managers, a thematic analysis revealed the experiences and perceptions of the research participants. Two distinct governmentalities exist: one reflecting neo-liberal governmentality and the other reflective of classic liberalism. Whilst this study is limited to regional Western Australia, the results suggest that there are variations in ‘governmentalities’ of volunteering comprising a mix of sometimes contradictory elements. This article also demonstrates the usefulness of governmentality for expanding the understanding of volunteering that has the potential to illuminate vital elements of the volunteer sector, which are being missed. There are many niches where volunteer groups exist or are emerging that are not visible and out of reach of the control techniques commonly used by governments adopting advanced (neo) liberal governmentalities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: International Society for Third-Sector Research and The John’s Hopkins University 201
Notes: VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
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