The role of volunteering for labour market integration or exclusion — German and British social policies compared


In the previous theory chapter, I have outlined how job loss for specific subgroups might lead to a decline of social activities in general and volunteer work in particular. Moreover, I have shown that volunteering activities for some unemployed can be expected to contribute to re-integration into the labour market, for others to encouraging their permanent exit from the labour market in order to assume caring responsibilities and use volunteering activities as an additional source of social recognition. I also argued that the institutional background is likely to play a major role in shaping these mechanisms, especially different degrees of labour market protection and different gender regimes in different types of political economies. In the present chapter, I give a more in-depth view on this institutional background, namely labour market and family policies as well as policies directly related to volunteering activities. I focus my analysis on labour market as well as family policies since especially women’s labour market integration does not only depend on the labour market but also on family related legislation as outlined in the theory chapter (Dingeldey 2000; Estevez-Abe 2005). As argued in the introduction, I will use a comparative approach in the tradition of societal analysis (Maurice 2000), analysing the social construction of different institutional surroundings via their historical development and their impact on the interrelation between unemployment and volunteering.


Labour Market Parental Leave Unemployment Benefit Family Policy Labour Market Segment 
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    The time period between the notice and the job interview has been extended — due to pressure from the non-profit sector on the British government — from 24 to 48 hours (Gaskin, et al. 1996: 55).Google Scholar
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