Next Article in Journal
First Nations People: Addressing the Relationships between Under-Enrollment in Medical Education, STEM Education, and Health in the United States
Next Article in Special Issue
Age, Period, and Cohort Differences in Work Centrality and Work Values
Previous Article in Journal
A Job of One’s Own. Does Women’s Labor Market Participation Influence the Economic Insecurity of Households?
Previous Article in Special Issue
Political Consumerism as a Neoliberal Response to Youth Political Disengagement
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Societies 2018, 8(1), 8;

Young People Engaging in Volunteering: Questioning a Generational Trend in an Individualized Society

Centre of Research and Intervention in Education, University of Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Studies: Values, Practices and Discourses on Generations)
Full-Text   |   PDF [240 KB, uploaded 30 January 2018]


Today young people experience a world that is being significantly changed by large-scale transformations in education and labour markets. Youth, as a generation, is most affected by those changes, since they are more likely to reshape their ways of living in response to the conditions they face, which inevitably produce inequalities in their lives. Volunteering is one of their responses. This paper aims to discuss the generational motivations and attitudes of a group of 11 European young people to participate in a European Voluntary Service project during a period of one year. The data was collected through an ethnographic methodological approach conducted between 2013 and 2014 in a Youth Centre in northern Portugal. Results clearly indicate that young people have an instrumental relationship with volunteering, which is mainly focused on the individual benefits that they believe they will acquire in their personal and professional life. Volunteering emerges as an opportunity to escape and to overcome the persisting challenges and constraints posed by our society; namely unemployment and precariousness, both of which are on the rise amongst young generations around the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: civic participation; youth volunteering; generations; individualization; individualism civic participation; youth volunteering; generations; individualization; individualism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Jardim, C.; Marques da Silva, S. Young People Engaging in Volunteering: Questioning a Generational Trend in an Individualized Society. Societies 2018, 8, 8.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Societies EISSN 2075-4698 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top