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Ethnicity, Voluntary Behaviour and Social Integration

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 16:38 by Ida Berger, Michaela Dinca-Panaitescu, Mary Foster, Agnes Meinhard
The voluntary sector has long been seen as the foundation of a healthy civil society (DeTocqueville, 1961; Leonard & Onyx, 2003). Yet, substantial growth in the last two decades in demand for voluntary sector services in Canada has been accompanied by a significant reduction in government resources supporting the sector’s activities (Browne, 1996). This confluence of sector growth and decreased governmental support has resulted in increased competition among voluntary organizations for both capital and human resources (Meinhard & Foster, 2000). Furthermore, the ethnic transformation of Canadian society raises knowledge, policy and practical issues across all sectors, including the voluntary sector. These conditions have pushed many in the voluntary sector to reach beyond their traditional bases of support to consider hitherto untapped segments of society. However, research on the Canadian voluntary sector, particularly with a cross-cultural lens, is a relatively new research domain, with many gaps in the knowledge base. Berger (2004) and Berger & Azaria (2004) have proposed, tested and supported a framework that traces the relationship between sub-group identity and volunteering, as mediated by attitudes, norms and social barriers. In this paper we extend this framework in order to consider the role of volunteering in social integration. (See Figure 1 below.) We use the 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS) not only to investigate this relationship in general, but also to examine how it might be moderated by generation and ethnic identification.
Keywords: CVSS, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Working Paper Series, TRSM, Ted Rogers School of Management

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