Scandinavian Civil Society and Social Transformations

The book origins from the research done at the Center for Research in Civil Society and Voluntary Sector.

The book is edited by Bernard Enjolras and Kristin Strømsnes. Kristin Strømsnes has a bi position at the Uni Research Rokkansenter, and has several contributions in the book.

Also Ivar Eimhjellen, Bjarte Folkestad and Jill Loga, from the Uni Research Rokkan Center, contributes in the book.

In the chapter, “Changing Patterns of Volunteering and Participation” Ivar Eimhjellen, Kari Steen-Johnsen, Bjarte Folkestad, and Guro Ødegård investigate whether the Norwegian model of organizational participation and volunteering is changing due to exogenous processes of individualization, digitalization, and migration.

Analyzing a varied set of data, including population surveys and qualitative case studies, some interesting and paradoxical results were discovered.

Regarding the process of individualization, we identify the development of a more reflexive and individualized form of volunteering indicated by a loosening of membership bonds between individuals and voluntary organizations, a multiplication of arenas for volunteering, more short-term volunteering, and an increased self-oriented motivation for volunteering.

The researchers also observe stability in (high) levels, volumes and areas of volunteering (sport, leisure, and culture), and a continuing importance of local contexts for mobilizing volunteers. The researchers see this stability as an indication of a rather successful, multifaceted reconfiguration of Norwegian civil society, in the sense that it adapts to new, more individualized motives and practices among volunteers.

With regard to digitalization, the researchers find digital media mainly to support participation and volunteering, both within and outside of traditional organizations by underpinning reflexive individualized volunteering and supporting traditional organizations informational services.

With regard to immigration, analyses show lower levels of voluntary participation (tied to lower levels of education and income) among immigrants and their descendants and the formation of and larger participation in religious, immigrant- and culture-specific organizations and networks.

Although these particular findings may indicate challenges for the traditional Norwegian model of volunteering in integrating the immigrant population, the overall trends found in this chapter are indicative of adaptation on the part of the Norwegian model to larger social processes of change.

Link to the book.


April 18, 2018, noon

cp: 2019-04-26 14:17:34