Between two volunteer cultures: Social composition and motivation among volunteers at the 2010 test event for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

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Work by Dag Wolleb‘k, Berit Skirstad, and Dag Vidar Hanstad published at International Review for the Sociology of Sport, February 2014, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 22-41. This paper argues that a reflexive, late modern volunteer culture coexists with a collectivist, traditional one at major sporting events.

Those who regularly volunteer at such events and are affiliated with organized sport tend to be older and male, and have higher incomes. Those who are volunteering for the first time and are unaffiliated with organized sport resemble reflexive volunteers to a greater extent: they tend to be younger and female, and their incomes are lower than those of regular sports volunteers. A factor analysis identified sports interest, social motives and qualification/work-related motives as three motivational dimensions for volunteering at sporting events. The first two intrinsic dimensions were more important to event regulars and those affiliated with organized sports. Building qualifications and work-related experience were more important motives for first-timers and unaffiliated volunteers, indicating that these volunteers view event volunteering as an appropriate way of investing in social and human capital. The data come from an Internet-based survey (n=800, response rate 77) conducted prior to the 2010 test event for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, Norway.

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