Dobrovolnictví v České republice před rokem 1989: diskurzy, definice, aktualizace
VOLUNTEERING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC BEFORE 1989: DISCOURSES, DEFINITIONS, CROSS-REFERENCES
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This article investigates volunteering as a specific interdisciplinary topic connected with civil society studies. It shows that the main body of literature treats volunteering in postcommunist countries as nonexistent or inauthentic. The year 1989 is viewed as a major turning point, after which volunteering developed anew from scratch. This article is based on twelve interviews with current volunteers that focused on their interpretation of the volunteering experience before and after 1989. The article shows that volunteering pre- and post-1989 may be framed as part of a continuous story. Interpreting the year 1989 as a break in development and a new beginning is based on a specific definition of volunteering as a part of civil society. Any description of volunteering before 1989 involves agreeing on a definition of volunteering. Volunteers refer to ‘hobby’ and ‘high-level’ volunteering, a dichotomous definition that on the one hand enables (or disables) talk about volunteering before 1989 and on the other relates to current discussions about the essence (core) of volunteering and its social value.
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