Frihed til frivillighed - en undersøgelse af frivillighed i Dansk Flygtningehjælp

Maria Bergane, Ea Maj Dobel, Anne-Mette Sletten & Astrid Rosenvold Villadsen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project examines how meanings and recognitions about volunteering is constructed among volunteers in the Non Government Organisation The Danish Refugee Council. It explores how positions are negotiated and established through discourses and social interactions in regard to volunteer work. The project is based on conducted and produced empirical research in the form of observed material. This material consists of a seminar held at The Danish Refugee Council involving its volunteers discussing their experiences and problems in volunteer work, combined with observations of three debates dealing with challenges in the future volunteer field. The empirical elements are qualitative data: observations and taped discussions. Furthermore the paper implements documents as yet another perspective on the examined field. The scientific approach in this project is poststructuralism. The aim is not to discover a hidden truth essential to the volunteering field but rather to question how truths have occurred and on what line of thought they are based. The project’s theoretical approach involves three different positions: positioning theory as theorised by Bronwyn Davies, Rom Harré and Luk van Langenhove, Michel Foucault’s theories on discourse, power/knowledge, governmentality and subjectivity and Ph.D. Kaspar Villadsen’s research about the genealogical research on volunteering in a Danish context, with specific focus on the philanthropic tradition. This to understand how volunteers position themselves and others and also how a construction of ‘the ideal volunteer’ is formed through thoughts of social responsibility. The significant findings can be summed up as follows: The produced empirical data depicts meanings and recognitions about volunteering as arbitrary and ambiguous. Through the discussions the observed volunteers provide perspectives on different discourses in the field of volunteering, this in respect as to what volunteer work is and should be. One consisting paradox is responsibility. The volunteers see their field of work as an area without personal responsibility when directly compared with the governmental work in the same field, however the volunteers discuss personal responsibility in the specific help they provide through the work as just involving a degree of responsibility but this on another level. In conclusion; the volunteers find themselves confronted with having to define themselves as compassionate and benevolent which involves responsibility as the same time as renouncing responsibility as an integral part of volunteering.

UddannelserPædagogik og Uddannelsesstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato9 jan. 2012
VejledereSharmila Holmstrøm Juhlin


  • Dansk Flygtningehjælp
  • Frivilligt arbejde