A sense of place: Ecological identity as a driver for catchment volunteering

Gooch, Margaret (2003) A sense of place: Ecological identity as a driver for catchment volunteering. Australian Journal on Volunteering, 8 (2). pp. 23-33.

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This paper is based on the results of a study of people who volunteer for environmental organisations with a catchment focus. The aim of the study was to capture all of the ways that participants experience catchment volunteering, to gain a deep understanding of why people might undertake such work, and what the social and environmental benefits might be. Data were collected through a qualitative research approach known as phenomenography which seeks variation in the ways individuals experience certain phenomena (Marton 1994; Saljo 1988). One of the major themes that emerged from this study was that developing and maintaining an ecological identity is important in sustaining catchment volunteer commitment. Results suggest that many respondents strongly identified with the physical location where the catchment volunteering took place, and that this ‘sense of place’ can be cultivated to foster active volunteer groups. Identity centred on a particular place can be acquired through the development of shared values, beliefs and interests of the volunteers. These are built over time through collective experiences. The paper concludes by suggesting that both a ‘sense of place’ and the development of an ecological identity can be a strong motivator for further volunteering.

Item ID: 431
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-0246
Keywords: ecological identity, volunteering, sense of place, catchment management
Additional Information:

Copyright 2003 Volunteering Australia.

Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2006
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940503 Time Use, Unpaid Work and Volunteering @ 100%
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