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Diversity 2010, 2(8), 1048-1058; doi:10.3390/d2081048

The Role of Volunteering in an Era of Cultural Transition: Can It Provide a Role Identity for Older People from Asian Cultures?

John Richards Initiative, La Trobe University, PO Box 821, Wodonga, Victoria 3689 Australia
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Received: 21 June 2010 / Revised: 25 July 2010 / Accepted: 27 July 2010 / Published: 29 July 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnic Diversity and Cultural Pluralism)
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Abstract

In western countries, one of the challenges facing ageing populations is an absence of social roles. One response to this is to volunteer, with evidence suggesting that this assigns meaning to the lives of older people and enhances health and well-being. This holds potential significance for older people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and particularly those from Asian cultures, where there is evidence that cultural erosion is diminishing older people’s traditional roles. However, while volunteering can create role identities for older people, it may also further challenge existing cultural values. This paper debates these issues, drawing on a growing body of evidence relating to volunteering within Asian cultures.
Keywords: volunteering; ageing; role identity; cultural diversity volunteering; ageing; role identity; cultural diversity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Warburton, J.; Winterton, R. The Role of Volunteering in an Era of Cultural Transition: Can It Provide a Role Identity for Older People from Asian Cultures? Diversity 2010, 2, 1048-1058.

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