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Active ageingVoluntary work by older people in Europe$
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Andrea Principi, Per H. Jensen, and Giovanni Lamura

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307204

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307204.001.0001

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Older Volunteers in Denmark: A Large Voluntary Sector in a Highly Developed Welfare State

Older Volunteers in Denmark: A Large Voluntary Sector in a Highly Developed Welfare State

Chapter:
(p.71) FOUR Older Volunteers in Denmark: A Large Voluntary Sector in a Highly Developed Welfare State
Source:
Active ageing
Author(s):

Per H. Jensen

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447307204.003.0004

The Danish Social Democratic Welfare regime is characterized by the combination of a strong welfare state, a strong civil society, high levels of labor force participation and a dual breadwinner model. Thus, the strong welfare state has not crowded out civil society organizations. The rate of volunteering is rather high as compared to the other countries in this volume. But the welfare state has certainly helped structure the character of voluntary organizations. The welfare state has assumed most of the tasks related to the social and health care sectors. In effect, voluntary work opportunities within these sectors are rather limited. Only 9% of all voluntary activities consist of social and health-related services. In turn, this may have had a negative effect on volunteering among older people, as seniors are strongly oriented towards traditional charity giving based on altruistic motivations. Those 66-85 years of age are far less active in voluntary organizations than younger age groups. No impediments, e.g. in the form of care obligations older relatives (it's a state responsibility) or wage work (employment rates are low for older people) hinder volunteering among older people, but health and class do play a role for volunteering. Most municipalities have a voluntary policy, but overall policy programs stimulating the supply and demand for older volunteers are marginal.

Keywords:   social democratic welfare regime, older volunteers, strong civil society, voluntary work, self-expressive, supply and demand

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