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Organized Study of Career Volunteering

Abstract: There is no research center or program of studies specifically focused on career volunteering. Instead, the current research and teaching scene in this field is fragmented; it consists of a set of enthusiastic scholars oriented by the SLP scattered, in the main, across Australia, New Zealand, Israel, North America, and the United Kingdom. Overall, according to the bibliography at www.seriousleisure.net, graduate student as well as faculty and practitioner theory and research in this area have been growing, reaching their highest levels of output during approximately the past fifteen years.

Keywords: career volunteering; research; teaching; volunteering

Stebbins, Robert A. Leisure and the Motive to Volunteer: Theories of Serious, Casual, and Project-Based Leisure. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. doi: 10.1057/9781137585172.0009.

There is no research center or program of studies specifically focused on career volunteering. Instead, the current research and teaching scene in this field is fragmented; it consists of a set of enthusiastic scholars oriented by the SLP scattered, in the main, across Australia, New Zealand, Israel, North America, and the United Kingdom. The various graduate theses listed in the Bibliography of www.seriousleisure.net show that serious leisure volunteering is an occasional feature of university education at this level. Overall, graduate student as well as faculty and practitioner theory and research in this area have been growing, reaching their highest levels of output during approximately the past fifteen years.

Conference presentations and workshops on serious leisure volunteering are difficult to trace with any accuracy, there being no central clearing house for inventorying such contributions. But papers in the area are common at the annual (bi-annual, tri-annual) gatherings of the Leisure Studies Association (UK), Canadian Association for Leisure Studies, Academy of Leisure Sciences (USA), World Leisure Organization, and the Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies. Given the dominance in volunteer research circles of the economic definition of volunteering, papers on serious leisure volunteering are probably comparatively rarer at their conferences (e.g., those of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action [ARNOVA], International Society for Third Sector Research [ISTR], Israeli Centre for Third Sector Research). Workshops do take place, though only sporadically. Stebbins has presented four outside his local community: in Taiwan on serious leisure (2009), in Australia on disabilities and self-esteem (2010), in Malaysia on social entrepreneurship (2010), and in Scotland on recruiting and retaining volunteers (2012).

 
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