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Making VolunteersCivic Life after Welfare's End$
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Nina Eliasoph

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147093

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147093.001.0001

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“The Spirit that Moves Inside You”: Puzzles of Using Volunteering to Cure the Volunteer’s Problems

“The Spirit that Moves Inside You”: Puzzles of Using Volunteering to Cure the Volunteer’s Problems

Chapter:
(p.48) Chapter 3 “The Spirit that Moves Inside You”: Puzzles of Using Volunteering to Cure the Volunteer’s Problems
Source:
Making Volunteers
Author(s):

Nina Eliasoph

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691147093.003.0003

This chapter explains how the empowerment talk suggests that volunteering is good because it is soul-changing, which leads organizers to embrace this mission. Fulfilling this mission of deeply inspiring and transforming the volunteers, however, would be hard. Moreover, to fulfill the mission of helping needy volunteers themselves—youth who are “not the usual leader type,” who lack confidence—organizers have to make sure that volunteering seems easy. These two missions come into possible tension with each other, and with a third to complicate matters: helping others, which usually requires knowledge, or even expertise, and not just inspiration. There is thus a possible three-way dissonance between inspiring all of the volunteers, helping the needy volunteers, and having the expertise or know-how to help other people.

Keywords:   empowerment talk, transforming volunteers, inspiring volunteers, needy volunteers, volunteer expertise, volunteering

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