Russian volunteering dynamics: developing types of activity, challenges and management opportunities

Project: Award Project

Description

Volunteerism as a type of activity and social community demonstrates the dynamics in increasing the number of people in the specialization of volunteerism and in the institutional development of infrastructure at the global, national and local levels. The socio-political agenda of the current year, which is declared the "year of volunteering" in Russia, is an objective confirmation of the relevance of the declared topic and the relevance of the scientific results of this project.

The theoretical significance of the results achieved is due to the increment of sociological knowledge about the nature of the civil activity in Russia, the development of social work, the national specifics of civil society and effective social management. The special sociological theory of volunteering has been developed in this project. A new theoretical problem, which has a pronounced practical significance, is posed and studied in the project. It expands the possibilities of theoretical analysis of volunteer development management as a social phenomenon. The project defines the universal principles of volunteers’ management, considering the internal and external dynamics of their community, activities and the environment where it is implemented.

Empirical studies carried over three years allowed us to assess the dynamics of volunteering on the national and regional scale and to predict its further development. The research group developed the sociological theory of volunteering and the theoretical concept of social management of volunteers and their activities. The grounds for the transformation of the external institutional environment are highlighted in the project. The researchers define the conditions in which more and more volunteer practices appear and reveal social mechanisms that affect the processes of their development and consolidation (institutionalization) in the Russian society. The project considers such types of volunteering as youth, international, corporate and sports volunteering, as well as volunteering of silver age. These types of volunteering are given a sociological assessment in the context of opportunities to improve their social efficiency by creating favorable conditions for volunteers in each direction.

The first stage of the study examines the potential of volunteerism as a social phenomenon, which is widely spread and strongly supported by international organizations and national governments all over the world. The theoretical foundations of a comprehensive study of Russian volunteerism as a social community and Institute in the space-time continuum are developed at this stage. The author's interpretation of the dynamics of volunteering introduced into scientific circulation. The project defines the key parameters of the study of changes in this phenomenon. Theoretical and methodological foundations and methods of studying the dynamics of volunteering and its individual types are developed in the article. The study presents promising scenarios for the development of Russian volunteering and reveals changes in volunteering of the Sverdlovsk region. Conceptualization of international volunteering as an object of theoretical and empirical research has been implemented.

The second stage of the project develops the theory of volunteer community and the basis of the research concept. This concept initially was the basis for empirical studies of the problems in volunteers’ management of different directions. Methodological and methodical aspects of the research approach have been developed at this stage. The logic of this approach made it possible to identify the key problems associated with the prospects for the development of volunteering in the Russian regions. It also helped to identify the main (new) vectors of studying the problems of inclusion of volunteering in the social life of Russians associated with the allocation of certain types of volunteer activities and different communities of volunteers.

The key results of the second stage of the research project are the provisions of the theory of volunteer community, the foundations of the theoretical concept of social management of volunteering in Russia. The results of in-depth and expert interviews revealed the characteristics of developing types of formal volunteering in order to determine their prospects in the Russian society, to identify the role of volunteers in solving social problems and to characterize the informal volunteer practices of residents of Sverdlovsk region.

The final stage of the project presented a model of social management of volunteering, involving the practical implementation of the author's theoretical concept of social management of volunteering at the level of strategy, tactics and practice of its implementation, considering the dynamics of the community of Russian volunteers, their activities and the environment of its implementation. This model was discussed in group interviews with state and municipal officials and representatives of the public sector – heads of NGOs of Sverdlovsk region.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/01/201631/12/2018

Keywords

  • 04.21.61
  • RFFI
  • Kuibyshev Research Division