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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 Germany: Opportunities and Restrictions in the Welfare Mix

Older Volunteers in Germany: Opportunities and Restrictions in the Welfare Mix

(p.93) FIVE Older Volunteers in Germany: Opportunities and Restrictions in the Welfare Mix
Active ageing

Paula Aleksandrowicz

Doris Bockermann

Frerich Frerichs

Policy Press

The Third Sector in Germany plays an important role in the provision of welfare besides the state and the market. Voluntary work is encouraged and strengthened by the welfare state, especially in the social services sector, where the provision of services follows the subsidiarity principle. A change of values associated with voluntary work from altruistic and duty motives to motives of self-fulfilment and fun can be observed. Employment and care responsibilities are no hindrance to taking up voluntary work. The structure of voluntary work in Germany follows the male breadwinner model and leads to gender inequalities in civic engagement. While recent decades have witnessed a rise in the number of volunteers, the civic engagement of older persons needs to be activated further in line with the intergenerational contract. Within older cohorts, special focus should be put on the activation of females, persons with lower education and lower material resources.

Keywords:   Third Sector, voluntary work, subsidiarity principle, civic engagement, intergenerational contract

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