Volunteering as Performance: The Dynamic between Self-Interest and Selflessness within the Volunteer Industry

dc.contributorDox, Donnalee
dc.creatorBernstein, Joshua D
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-01T05:57:10Z
dc.date.accessioned2017-04-07T20:04:52Z
dc.date.available2015-05-01T05:57:10Z
dc.date.available2017-04-07T20:04:52Z
dc.date.created2013-05
dc.date.issued2013-04-26
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates volunteering as performance. In exploring this topic I discuss a dynamic between self-interest and selflessness in the observable performance of service through the social mechanisms of volunteerism. I argue that self-interest is a prominent motivation for volunteering, but its overt performance is kept in check by norms that emphasize selflessness. My argument centers on addressing this lack of acknowledgement toward self-interest within vernacular culture. My research draws examples from an individual, organizational, and global volunteer perspective. Ethnographic research was conducted for this study with a student group that organizes one of the American Cancer Society?s Relay For Life fundraisers. Within this organization, I conceptualize volunteering as a performance that requires a social actor to not just ?do? service, but also ?show do? and/or ?explain show do? their behavior in front of an audience. This presentation culminates in a cultural performance where participants at Relay For Life perform a narrative of selflessness. Expanding my discussion of volunteering to a global perspective, my last chapter addresses volunteer tourism. I argue that the self-interest of both volunteers and volunteer travel companies reduces the recipients of volunteer tourism to essentialized and exociticized cultural "Others." I advocate for the overt acknowledgement of self-interest not only because self-interest is present, but also because it is a central dynamic that constructs volunteerism as performance.
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/149588
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectVolunteering
dc.subjectvolunteerism
dc.subjectvolunteer tourism
dc.subjectvoluntourism
dc.subjectvoluntoured
dc.subjectRelay For Life
dc.subjectAmerican Cancer Society
dc.subjectcollege student volunteerism
dc.subjectcollege student volunteering
dc.subjectvolunteer motivation
dc.subjectselflessness
dc.subjectself-interest
dc.subjectself-interest and volunteering
dc.subjectThailand
dc.subjectperformance studies
dc.subjectethnography
dc.subjecti to i
dc.subjecti-to-i
dc.subjectvolunteering as performance
dc.subjectcultural performance
dc.titleVolunteering as Performance: The Dynamic between Self-Interest and Selflessness within the Volunteer Industry
dc.typeThesis

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