Volunteers and Ex-Volunteers: Paths to Civic Engagement Through Volunteerism
The study described is part of a broader longitudinal and multi-methodological research project aimed at investigating volunteerism in young people, in order to understand the reasons for the initial choice to volunteer but, more specifically, the reasons to sustain or quit voluntary involvement, as well as the effects of volunteerism. Eighteen volunteers and 18 ex-volunteers, 50% male and 50% female, aged between 22 and 29 years old, from 2 regions in northern Italy (Lombardy and Emilia Romagna) participated in in-depth interviews. The paper-and-pencil analysis of the interview pointed to the emergence of several core categories: motivations to volunteer, relations within the organization, influence of family, and effects of volunteerism, especially as related to the process of identity and citizenship construction. On the basis of these categories, 4 typologies were identified: 2 with respect to volunteers (producers of active citizenship and volunteers for personal necessity) and 2 related specifically to ex-volunteers (ex-volunteers witnesses for solidarity and active citizenship and ex-volunteers by chance).