Structuration of volunteering in the social sector - reproduction and change of practice
Instituto Ciências Sociais Universidade do Minho Braga, Portugal
Most of the social services in Portugal is trusted to the private organizations of social solidarity. Gifted with directions composed by people in a volunteering regimen, served by technical and auxiliary staff, generate various social answers in the communities in which they operate. Financed by the State and by clients, they possess relatively fragile financial staff. Volunteering allow more or less qualified human resources which allow it to reinforce the capacity to answer their clients' needs.
The integration of volunteers in the organizational processes, usually desired by management, raises new problems for the technicians who manage social valences. This study pretends to analyze 1) the perception of the advantages of the volunteer service for the organizations of the social sector, 2) the modalities of functional integration of volunteers in the organizational processes and 3) evaluate the effects of the social tensions and contradictions generated by the integration in the teams of social services.
All reflection founds itself in the structuration theory and in the dimensions of signification, legitimization and domination to understand the phenomenon of volunteering. Concretely, it proposes the reading of ways how volunteering, considered to be fundamental for the organizations of the social sector, is integrated in them, stimulating the reproduction and the change of practices, sometimes promoting the integration and the optimization of these human resources, sometimes promoting the disintegration and waste of these important resources.