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Series:

David Horton Smith

The foundations of volunteering, charitable giving, voluntary associations, voluntary agencies, and other aspects of the Voluntary Nonprofit Sector (VNPS) collectively and of individual voluntary action lie in various aspects of human nature and societies. These foundations may be referred to variously as altruism, morality, ethics, virtue, kindness, generosity, cooperation, social solidarity, and prosociality (eusociality). These foundations of the VNPS, and specifically of social solidarity and prosociality, are the subjects of this literature review article/book. The central goal is providing a comprehensive and interdisciplinary theoretical framework for understanding, explaining, and predicting such phenomena, based on two versions of the author’s S-Theory:

(1) Individual-System-Level General S-Theory of Human Behavior, as presented briefly here and in greater detail elsewhere (Smith, 2015, 2020a, 2020b; Smith & van Puyvelde, 2016);
(2) Social-System-Level General S-Theory of Collective Prosociality-Social Solidarity, as partially sketched here for the first time in print.

Social-System-Level General S-Theory of collective Prosociality-Social Solidarity argues that collective social solidarity can be better explained with a broader than usual range of factors as major causal influences, beyond normative systems. Individual prosociality behavior can be best explained and understood using the author’s Individual-System-Level General S-Theory of Human Behavior.
Prosociality includes (a) instrumental (task-oriented) helping behavior, such as formal and informal volunteering or charitable giving for non-household/non-immediate family persons and also informal care of residential household/immediate family persons, plus (b) expressive prosociality or sociability that involves positive interpersonal relations with one or more other persons, both in the residential household/immediate family or outside of it, based on feelings of attachment, fellowship, friendship, affection, and/or love.
Prosociality and social solidarity are clearly human universals, as Brown (1991) concludes from anthropological studies on hundreds of mostly preliterate societies on all continents. Such individual human prosociality activities often have positive short- and long-term consequences for the people who do them.

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Carl Milofsky

This article argues the position that the symbolic sense of community is a product of action by associations and larger community-based organizations. It draws on a theory from urban sociology called “the community of limited liability.” In the past this theory, first articulated by Morris Janowitz, has mostly been used to argue that residents living in a local neighborhood feel a sense of identification with that area to the extent that the symbolism of that neighborhood has been developed. This article extends Janowitz’s theory to apply to local associations and their efforts to create activities, movements, and products that encourage residents to expand their sense of symbolic attachment to a place. We argue that this organizational method has long been used by local associations but it has not been recognized as an organizational theory. Because associations have used this approach over time, communities have a historical legacy of organizing and symbol creating efforts by many local associations. Over time they have competed, collaborated, and together developed a collective vision of place. They also have created a local interorganizational field and this field of interacting associations and organizations is dense with what we call associational social capital. Not all communities have this history of associational activity and associational social capital. Where it does exist, the field becomes an institutionalized feature of the community. This is what we mean by an institutional theory of community.

Lone Twin

A True Story of Loss and Found

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Laurel Richardson

On her death bed, Laurel Richardson’s sister whispers a deep family secret to her. Those whispered words send the famed sociologist and author on a personal exploration of a lifetime. Lone Twin: A True Story of Loss and Found is an extraordinary story of a search for identity, wholeness, and forgiveness. Grounded in the cultures of mid-Twentieth Century Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles, Lone Twin weaves the personal with the social, cultural, and political. Richardson shares fascinating, resonant, and humorous stories about her relationships with a suicidal poet, a Swedish fencer, a budding scientist, a Puerto Rican family, a Mafia family, her Russian Jewish and Irish Catholic family, and her famous cousin, Laura Foreman. Her story is at once singular and plural. As Richardson shares her journey towards wholeness and forgiveness, readers are invited to consider their own journeys and ask: Is there something missing in my life? How do I justify my existence? Lone Twin is an exquisitely written book about identity, the search for people who understand us, and the ties that bind. This outstanding example of literary sociology can be used as supplemental reading in a range of courses in American studies, gender studies, social science, child development, and creative writing. It can be read entirely for pleasure and is a great choice for book clubs. An appendix offers discussion questions, projects, and creative writing exercises.

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Laurie Mook and Jack Quarter

Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy, officially bilingual (English and French), and one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Indeed, more than one-fifth of Canada’s population consists of first-generation immigrants, and a similar percentage classify themselves as visible minorities. A confederation of ten provinces and three territories, Canada has a current population of over 36 million people who live across an expansive geographic area that constitutes the second largest country in the world. In this multifaceted context, the social economy of Canada plays an important role in bridging the public and private sectors to form a strong social infrastructure (Quarter, Mook, & Armstrong, 2018). It constitutes a vast range of organizations guided by social objectives including nonprofit organizations such as charities, foundations, and social enterprises; and cooperatives both non-financial and financial. There are distinct traditions of the social economy in anglophone and francophone parts of Canada. There are also traditions specific to particular populations, such as the Black social economy (Hossein, 2013); and the Indigenous social economy (Restoule, Gruner, & Metatawabin, 2012; Sengupta, Vieta, & McMurtry, 2015; Wuttunee, 2010). In this review, we look at the anglophone research on the social economy, noting that there are also French-language research institutions and educational programs focusing on the social economy; however, a review of these is beyond our scope. After providing an overview of the concept of social economy in Canada, we summarize research on its scope and size in the Canadian context. Next we focus on voluntaristic behaviors of giving, volunteering (formal and informal), and participating. Our focus shifts to describing the infrastructure supporting research of the sector, including key academic and umbrella associations and networks, as well as formal and informal education programs. Finally, we describe key funders of social economy research including government and foundations.

Sociability Associations

A Literature Review

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Robert A Stebbins

Friendly social relations during free time, referred to here as leisure-based sociability, constitute a prominent reward of participation in groups based on voluntary membership, consisting for this review mainly of amateurs, hobbyists, volunteers, and their associations. This benefit is analyzed according to two subtypes: sociable nonprofit associations and social clubs. The goal of this issue of the Voluntaristics Review is to examine the leisure component of these two subtypes as framed in the serious leisure perspective (SLP), put nonprofit sociability in organizational context, and then review the empirical literature bearing on it. Excluded are the studies and theoretic treatises approaching nonprofit groups from another angle (e.g., organizational structure, management issues, funding sources, governmental regulation, type of employment). Specifically, this review centers on the relevant publications listed in the SLP website bearing on amateurs, hobbyists, and career volunteers (the serious pursuits), casual leisure, and project-based interests. It includes several extensions of the theory and research on leisure-related aspects of aging and retirement, arts and science administration, library and information science, positive psychology, therapeutic recreation and disability studies, and tourism and event analysis. Compared with the specialties in leisure studies, the SLP casts by far the broadest theoretical and empirical net in that interdisciplinary field. The research reviewed shows that such talk—generically known as socializing—reflects one or more of 14 themes. In general, members find sociability in these clubs and associations in and around the core activities they pursue there and on which the two subtypes have formed. The studies reviewed, taken together, provide considerable validation of the proposition that leisure-based sociability is a prominent reward of participating in a multitude of volunteer groups. Leisure-based sociability is essentially micro-analytic, but when viewed through the lens of the SLP, it can be further understood using meso and macro levels of analysis.

International Trends in Educational Assessment

Emerging Issues and Practices

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Edited by Myint Swe Khine

Assessment and evaluation have always been an integral part of the educational process. Quality and purposeful assessment can assist in students’ learning and their achievement. In recent years, considerable attention has been given to the roles of educational measurement, evaluation, and assessment with a view to improving the education systems throughout the world. Educators are interested in how to adequately prepare the young generation to meet the ever-growing demands of the 21st century utilizing robust assessment methods. There has also been increased demand in accountability and outcomes assessment in schools to bridge the gap between classroom practices and measurement and assessment of learners’ performance. This volume contains selected and invited papers from the First International Conference on Educational Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment (ICEMEA).

Contributors are: Peter Adams, Derin Atay, Nafisa Awwal, Helen Barefoot, Patrick Griffin, Bahar Hasirci, Didem Karakuzular, Don Klinger, Leigh Powell, Vicente Reyes, Mark Russell, Charlene Tan, Bryan Taylor, and Zhang Quan.

Pathways to Belonging

Contemporary Research in School Belonging

Edited by Kelly-Ann Allen and Christopher Boyle

School belonging should be a priority across every facet of education. The research on school belonging for positive student outcomes has been widely accepted and findings demonstrating its role as a protective factor against mental ill health and youth suicide are too compelling to ignore. In an age where it has been argued that academic achievement is prioritised over wellbeing, the editors bring the importance of school belonging back to the fore in educational policy and planning. This book is the most comprehensive compendium of its kind on the topic of school belonging. A foreword by Professor John Hattie of The University of Melbourne sets the scene for an engaging look at how school belonging is quintessential in contemporary schooling.

Contributors are: Kelly-Ann Allen, Christopher Boyle, Jonathan Cohen, Crystal Coker, Erin Dowdy, Clemence Due, Jonathan K. Ferguson, Sebastian Franke, Michael Furlong, Annie Gowing, Alun Jackson, Divya Jindal-Snape, Andrew Martinez, Daniel Mays, Vicki McKenzie, Susan Dvorak McMahon, Franka Metzner, Kathryn Moffa, Silke Pawils, Damien W. Riggs, Sue Roffey, Lisa Schneider, Bini Sebastian, Christopher D. Slaten, Jessica Smead, Amrit Thapa, Dianne Vella-Brodrick, Lea Waters, Michelle Wichmann, and Holger Zielemanns.

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Edited by Peter Bray and Marta Rzepecka

Communication decisively impacts upon all our lives. This inherent need to connect may either be soothing or painful, a source of intimate understanding or violent discord. Consequently, how it is brokered is challenging and often crucial in situations where those involved have quite different ways of being in and seeing the world. Good communication is equated with skills that intentionally facilitate change, the realisation of desirable outcomes and the improvement of human situations. Withdrawal of communication, or its intentional manipulation, provokes misunderstanding, mistrust, and precipitates the decline into disorder. This international collection of work specifically interrogates conflict as an essential outworking of communication, and suggests that understanding of communication’s potency in contexts of conflict can directly influence reciprocally positive outcomes.