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Civil Society through the Lifecourse

Are young people blindly self-interested? How does university shape students’ political participation? Can busy parents and grandparents find time to volunteer? Challenging conventional thinking, leading academics explore how individuals’ relationships with civil society change over time as different lifecourse events and stages trigger and hinder civic engagement. Drawing on personal narratives, longitudinal cohort studies and…

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Stewardship of the rural: Conceptualising the experiences of rural volunteering in later life

Journal of Rural Studies 76 pp 184-192 The figure of the older volunteer involved with the civil society of rural communities is written onto by the dual demands to age well and productively; to benefit themselves but also to be a good citizen and to contribute to their communities and to wider society. Considering this popular…

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“It’s that kind of place here”: Solidarity, place-making and civil society response to the 2015 “refugee crisis” in different localities in Wales, UK

This article examines the different ways in which local civil society has responded to refugees and asylum seekers in different parts of Wales in the wake of the recent “refugee crisis”. While the events of summer 2015 have generated a considerable amount of scholarly attention, including empirical accounts that look into local community responses to…

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Volunteering in the Bath? The rise of Microvolunteering and implications for policy

This paper addresses the emergence of microvolunteering as a conceptual and practical phenomenon, as well as one which policy makers must engage with in a careful and critical fashion. Taking a lead from Smith et al. [2010. “Enlivened Geographies of Volunteering: Situated, Embodied and Emotional Practices of Voluntary Action.” Scottish Geographical Journal 126: 258–274] who specify…

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Reconceptualising comfort as part of local belonging: the use of confidence, commitment and irony

This paper offers a theoretical framework for the analysis of belonging in local communities. To do so it draws on a broad existing literature which argues that comfort is a key dimension of our attachments to place. The argument that experiences of local belonging (or otherwise) are related to a person’s sense of comfort is…

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Social housing as built heritage: the presence and absence of affective heritage

This chapter uses the lens of affective heritage to consider some of the implications of designating housing, in particular social housing, as cultural heritage for residents’ and former residents’ sense of belonging to place. In doing so it adds to debates within heritage studies that question traditional processes of heritage management and their tendency to…