Self-Help and Mutual Aid Group Volunteering

Munn-Giddings, Carol and Oka, Tomofumi and Borkman, Thomasina and Chikoto, Grace L. and Matzat, Jürgen and Montaño-Fraire, Rolando (2016) Self-Help and Mutual Aid Group Volunteering. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 393-416. ISBN 978-1-137-26317-9

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This chapter explores a type of formal volunteering, carried out in groups, by peers who share a problematic health, economic, or social condition or situation. Peers meet together in self-help/mutual aid groups (SH/MAGs) to alleviate or improve their own circumstances. Of particular importance are the reciprocal social relationships in these groups – active participants both give and receive support. The chapter traces the broad history of SH/MAGs, reflecting similarities and differences in the co-authors’ regions of the world. The benefits that accrue to people active in SH/MAGs are highlighted at a personal, collective, and community level. The authors explore how self-help/mutual aid is enabled, given the challenges currently facing this form of volunteering, including global economic austerity and the dominance of professional and paternalistic modes of help. We use the dual term SH/MA to emphasize a distinguishing feature of this type of volunteering: SH/MA is an activity based on a kind of reciprocity known as the helper principle.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: civil society, formal volunteer, credit association
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 11:07
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:14

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