The research aimed to explore how the religious and political background to Northern Ireland impacted on
an individual’s decision to volunteer and also the impact of their sense of community and family involvement in the area. A total of 9 semi-structuredinterviews were carried out so that the individuals were given time to share their stories. The interviews were ethnographic and supplemented by the researcher’s auto-ethnographic diaries. The study was informed by Grounded Theory.
The main argument is that the religious context as well as the social context in which the volunteers live in Northern Ireland, impact on their decision to volunteer. The effect of religion on the decision to volunteer is dependent, in volunteers in this study, on whether they were male or female. The Northern Ireland Troubles was not found to impact directly, either negatively or positively, on why the participants in this study choose to participate.
- Full paper [PDF document]