Voluntarism, Community Life, and the American Ethic (Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies) (Hardcover)

By Robert S. Ogilvie

Indiana University Press, 9780253344236, 272pp.

Publication Date: June 18, 2004

List Price: 35.00*
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This is a major contribution to the literature on social participation and voluntary action. It is the first systematic ethnographic study I know that treats volunteers and the institutions they create." --John Van Til, author of Growing Civil Society

Students and faculty interested in the issue of homelessness will find the book instructive... Recommended." --Choice

Why do people volunteer, and what motivates them to stick with it? How do local organizations create community? How does voluntary participation foster moral development in volunteers to create a better citizenry? In this fascinating study of volunteers at the Partnership for the Homeless in New York City, Robert S. Ogilvie provides bold and engaging answers to these questions. He describes how volunteer programs such as the Partnership generate ethical development in and among participants and how the Partnership's volunteers have made it such a continued success since the early 1980s. Ogilvie's examination of voluntarism suggests that the American ethic is essential for sustaining community life and to the future well-being of a democratic society.

About the Author

Robert S. Ogilvie is assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches classes in community development and urban studies. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. He is the former director of volunteers at the Partnership for the Homeless in New York City.