Nina Eliasoph (University of Southern California) - Volunteers and Empowerment Projects: Styles of Interaction in Neoliberal Voluntary Associations
from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
“Civic;” “transformative;” “appreciative of unique, local customs, people and places;” “transparent;” “helpful to the needy:” we have all heard this kind of “empowerment talk” in civic associations around the world. How, in everyday life, do people make all these crisscrossed missions harmonize? Based on a nearly five year-long study of volunteers and employees in afterschool programs and youth civic engagement projects, this talk will show how people develop an "organizational style" for making it all work. Participants don't necessarily learn the lessons that the empowerment projects aim to teach, but they learn some other important lessons, nonetheless.