Cultural Values and Volunteering: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
This chapter discusses the connections between cultural values and volunteering. We define volunteering as giving one’s time freely and without financial reward to help other people or a cause (excluding one’s family and friends) in an organized manner. Volunteering is not always or purely altruistic, if altruistic behavior is defined according to the motives of the actor. Self-directed motives as well as altruistic motives may drive volunteering. Cultural, political, religious, and social contexts influence this activity by providing opportunities, expectations, and requirements for voluntary activity, as well as by directing the motives for volunteering, some of them altruistic, some not. This chapter focuses on altruistic and other motives that volunteers identify as meaningful reasons for volunteering. We discuss the influence of cultural contexts, especially cultural values, in volunteering and its motives. Cultural values seem to influence volunteering on their own and through social institutions. In at least some studies, egalitarian cultural values are strongly connected to altruistic volunteering motives.
KeywordsEurope Income Posit
This chapter is to a large extent based on the following article and the work of the research team that coauthored the article: Grönlund, H., Holmes, K., Kang, C., Cnaan, R., Handy, F., Brudney, J., Haski-Leventhal, D., Hustinx, L., Kassam, M., Meijs, L. C. P. M., Pessi, A. B., Ranade, B., Smith, K. A., Yamauchi, N., and Zrinščak, S. (2011). Cultural values and volunteering: A cross-cultural comparison of students’ motivation to volunteer in 13 countries. Journal of Academic Ethics 9(2), 87–106.
- Bekkers, R. (2005). Participation in voluntary associations. Relations with resources, personality, and political values. Political Psychology, 26(3), 439–454.Google Scholar
- Billis, D. (1993). Organizing public and voluntary agencies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Clary, E. G., Snyder, M., Ridge, R. D., Copeland, J., Stukas, A. A., Haugen, J., & Miene, P. (1998). Understanding and assessing the motivations of volunteers: A functional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1516–1530.Google Scholar
- Cnaan, R., Pessi, A. B., Handy, F., Brudney, J. L., Grönlund, H., Haski-Leventhal, D., Holmes, K., Hustinx, L., Kassam, M., Pessi, A. B., Zrinšcˇak, S., Cnaan, R. A., Yamauchi, N., Smith, K., & Meijs, L. C. P. M. (2012). Student Values, Religiosity, and Pro-Social Behavior: A Cross-National Perspective. Diaconia. The Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice, 3(1), 2–25.Google Scholar
- Dekker, P. (2002). On the prospects of volunteering in civil society. Voluntary Action, 4(3), 31–48.Google Scholar
- Gibbons, J. L. (2013). Guatemalan adolescents’ reports of helping in urban and rural Mayan.Google Scholar
- Grönlund, H., Holmes, K., Kang, C., Cnaan, R., Handy, F., Brudney, J., … Zrinščak, S. (2011). Cultural values and volunteering: A cross-cultural comparison of students motivation to volunteer in 13 countries. Journal of Academic Ethics 9(2), 87–106. Google Scholar
- Gupta, A. G. (2013). Altruism in Indian religions: Embracing the biosphere. In D. A. Vakoch (Ed.), Altruism in cross-cultural perspective. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and postmodernization: Cultural, economic, and political change in 43 societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Kumlin, S., & Rothstein, B. (2003). Investing in social capital: The impact of welfare state institutions. Paper prepared for delivery at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 31, 2003. Retrieved from http://www.students.uni-mainz.de/bonea001/Dokumente/KumlinRothsteinAPSA2003.pdf.
- Musick, M. A., & Wilson, J. (2008). Volunteers: A social profile. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Musick, M. A., Wilson, J., & Bynum, W. B. (2000). Race and formal volunteering: The differential effects of class and religion. Social Forces, 78(4), 1539–1570.Google Scholar
- Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector. (2007). Facts and figures on volunteering in New Zealand. Wellington: Author.Google Scholar
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2008). OECD factbook 2008: Economic, environmental and social statistics 2008. Paris: Author.Google Scholar
- Rochester, C., Paine, A. E., Howlett, S., & Zimmeck, M. (2010). Volunteering and society in the 21st century. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Rokeach, M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. Teoksessa M. P. Zanna (Toim.). Advances in experimental social psychology, 25, 1–65.Google Scholar
- Schwartz, S. H. (1994). Beyond individualism and collectivism: New cultural dimensions of values. In U. Kim, H. C. Triandis, C. Kagitcibasi, S.-C. Choi, & G. Yom (Eds.), Individualism and collectivism: Theory, method and application (pp. 85–119). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Schwartz, S. H. (2012). Cultural value orientations: Nature and implications of national differences. Retrieved from http://www.tau.ac.il/law/cegla3/tax2/1%20Cultural%20Value%20Orientations%20-%20Schwartz.pdf.
- Smith, S. W., Lapinski, M. K., Bresnahan, M. J., & Smith, S. L. (2013). Conceptual aspects of altruism in cross-cultural contexts. In D. A. Vakoch (Ed.), Altruism in cross-cultural perspective. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- 2011 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report: Universal values for global well-being. Retrieved from: http://www.unric.org/en/images/stories/2011/PDF/SWVR%20Report%20[Eng].pdf.
- Wuthnow, R. (1991). Acts of compassion. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Ziemeck, S. (2003). The economics of volunteer labour supply: An application to countries of a different development level. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar