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Journal section "Socio-political research"

Citizens’ Attitudes toward Volunteering as an Indicator of Social Cohesion

Zakharova I.V.

Volume 8, Issue 1, 2022

Zakharova I.V. (2022). Citizens’ Attitudes toward Volunteering as an Indicator of Social Cohesion. Social area, 8(1). DOI: 10.15838/sa.2022.1.33.4 URL: http://socialarea-journal.ru/article/29203?_lang=en

DOI: 10.15838/sa.2022.1.33.4

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
Volunteering has become an independent institution of civil society that contributes to the social objectives of the state. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are multidirectional processes of social disunity and social cohesion, citizens’ worldviews are being transformed, and social values are being redefined. The disunity of people, the disruption of traditional communications, has intensified the problem of public trust in state and non-state institutions, as reflected in the results of public opinion analysis in different regions of the Russian Federation. However, new and traditional practices of volunteering in the pandemic, as well as positive attitudes toward them on the part of citizens, are indicators of social cohesion. The purpose of the study is to identify citizens’ attitudes toward volunteering and the organizational and administrative conditions for the volunteering development at the regional level. The methodological basis of the work was the sociological theory of volunteering by G.E. Zborovsky, A.V. Nevsky’s concept of the limits of volunteering sociology, T.A. Nestik’s socio-psychological analysis of pandemic influence on society, and R.N. Lunkin’s study of informal solidarity in the pandemic. The method of collecting primary data was a questionnaire survey. The study was conducted in the Ulyanovsk Oblast on the basis of quota-cluster sampling (N = 662), representative of the demographic categories of the region’s population. The relationship between citizens’ attitudes toward volunteering, participation in charity and volunteer activities and their subjective socio-economic well-being was assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient. The survey showed citizens’ awareness of volunteer activities in the Ulyanovsk Oblast, their attitude to volunteering, experience and readiness of the respondents to this activity. Based on the dichotomous correlation we revealed the absence of correlation between the subjective well-being of citizens and various forms of their prosocial activity. We proved that for the development of the volunteer movement the state and regional social policy, informing the population about the activities of volunteers, the promotion of prosocial values, the principles of volunteering and charity are important. The practical significance of the study lies in the identification of public opinion about volunteering and charity, which is important in the development of regional social policy. We formulated recommendations for the creation of organizational and administrative conditions for promoting volunteering in the region. Prospects for the study of volunteering as an indicator of social cohesion are associated with the identification of individual motives of volunteers from different social categories, the possibility of expanding the types of volunteer practices that have shown their effectiveness during the pandemic

Keywords

public opinion, sociological survey, volunteer, pandemic, charity, social disunity, social cohesion

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