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Landscapes of voluntarismNew spaces of health, welfare and governance$
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Christine Milligan and David Conradson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346322

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346322.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

The voluntary spaces of charity shops: workplaces or domestic spaces?

The voluntary spaces of charity shops: workplaces or domestic spaces?

Chapter:
(p.230) (p.231) Thirteen The voluntary spaces of charity shops: workplaces or domestic spaces?
Source:
Landscapes of voluntarism
Author(s):

Liz Parsons

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861346322.003.0013

Over the past 10 years, the charity retail sector has experienced a raft of organisational changes moving from a set of locally coordinated operations managed entirely on voluntary effort, to a series of national chains of shops with attendant management hierarchies and increased sets of regulatory policies designed to promote accountability and standardisation. This chapter discusses the changes to the structure of charity retail organisations and the associated changing nature of charity shops as voluntary spaces. It explains the understandings and experiences of charity shop volunteers, examining how and why they are significant in their daily lives and questioning the extent to which broader moves to professionalise such spaces impact on the quality of these volunteers' experiences. Finally, it explores the conflicting experiences of the voluntary spaces of charity shops, including the importance of the shops in creating spaces for sociality and belonging in the local community, spaces for the expression of social concern, and spaces which offer an important alternative to paid work environments. Such experiences suggest that government discourses around volunteering as a form of active citizenship may be problematic.

Keywords:   charity retail sector, voluntary space, sociality, professionalisation, citizenship

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