“Just like in an airport”: – An analysis on the discrete socialisation among virtual volunteers in a new voluntary organizational form

Ane Grubb

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper uden forlag/tidsskriftForskningpeer review


This paper presents an excerpt from an analytical chapter that investigates the socialisation between young volunteers in a non-membership based, digitally coordinated organisation of virtual tutoring. To frame the analysis, I start by outlining the overall field of research that the PhD project relates to; civil society- or third sector research. While this field has received extensive attention from survey- and interview based inquiries, only a few studies have used participant observation to investigate the socialisation and experiences of the volunteers in a concrete organisational context. This is all the more surprising, given the fact that most students of civil society, from Alexis de Tocqueville to Robert Putnam ascribe great democratic importance to the socialisation between the volunteers. As hybrid and virtual organisational forms seem to be on the rise, the question of how the organisational context matters for the socialisation between – and the general engagement of -the volunteers is more important than ever. In the analytical part of the paper, I will therefore show the fruitfulness of studying how the organisational context – defined as both the symbolic and the material context, in interdependence with the interactions of the volunteers, create a certain kind of socialisation, that I term “discrete socialisation”. Besides advancing our understanding of socialisation between volunteers a little bit, an implicit aim of the paper is thus to point to the fruitfulness of using a composite conceptual framework, that enables an appreciation of the symbolic and material dimensions of the organisational context.
StatusUdgivet - 2015
BegivenhedCOmposing Cultural Analysis
PhD Seminar, Lund August 2015
- Lunds Universitet, Lund, Sverige
Varighed: 3 aug. 2015 → …


KonferenceCOmposing Cultural Analysis
PhD Seminar, Lund August 2015
LokationLunds Universitet
Periode03/08/2015 → …


  • Volunteering
  • Materiality
  • Participant observation
  • ethnography