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The Demographic Opportunity: volunteering in older age

Hogg, Eddy (2013) The Demographic Opportunity: volunteering in older age. In: von Schnurbein, G and Wiederkehr, D and Amman, H, eds. Volunteering between Freedom and Professionalisation. Universität Basel Press, Basel, Switzerland. (KAR id:63176)

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Across advanced capitalist economies, demographic change has lead to older adults constituting a large and growing proportion of the population. This demographic shift is often observed in purely negative terms, focussing on the economic burden of a larger cohort of older people (in terms of pensions, health costs etc). This fails to take into account that this demographic change is the result of large numbers of individuals living longer, well beyond state pension age, potentially presenting the opportunity to continuing enjoying active lifestyles. Katz and Monk (1993) suggest that this has contributed to a paradigm shift in the way in which we understand ageing; no longer are individuals assumed to be at a stage in a chronologically-determined ‘life cycle’, rather it is suggested that an individual’s ‘life course’ is open to unexpected turns and changes, and may be wholly unrelated to their chronological age. This paper is interested in how these changes can contribute to an understanding of how older adults come to be undertaking voluntary work, through adopting a life course perspective in order to examine pathways into volunteering. This is done by situating voluntary and community activity within other activities undertaken across the lifecourse, to look at how adults come to be volunteering in older age.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Eddy Hogg
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2017 10:29 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hogg, Eddy:
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