In the introduction, this study set out to clarify the interrelations between unemployment and volunteering. Which role does volunteering play for the unemployed? Can it really be considered a successful labour market instrument and thus a “pathway to the labour market” and to social inclusion? Or does it to the contrary contribute especially to women’s permanent exclusion from paid labour in the sense of a “dead-end” in unpaid volunteer work as feminist authors have argued? Generally, how is the influence of volunteering on labour market success related to well-known dimensions of social inequality, such as gender and educational attainment? What is the role of individual decisions of the unemployed on deciding to give up their volunteer work during unemployment or starting new voluntary engagement? And how do welfare state institutions impact on these individual life courses?
KeywordsLabour Market Social Inclusion Unemployment Benefit German Labour Market Voluntary Engagement
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