Out of love for the village? How general and selective forms of attachment to the village explain volunteering in Dutch community life

Joost Gieling*, Tialda Haartsen, Lotte Vermeij, Dirk Strijker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

In the past century, the increasing scale of daily life has weakened and changed the ways residents feel attached to their village. A general and all-encompassing village attachment has evolved into less involving, more selective and partial forms of attachment. Concerns have been raised as to whether these changing forms affect volunteering in village life. In this paper we distinguish between general and selective forms of attachment to the village – social, cultural and environmental attachment – and explore their effects on local volunteering. In line with the theory of ‘s/elective belonging’, we hypothesise that a general attachment to the village predicts high levels of volunteering in village life, whereas selective forms of attachment only predict volunteering in activities related to the specific form of attachment. Based on survey data on over 5000 rural residents, the results show that general attachment only predicts volunteering to a limited extent and that social attachment does so best. Thus, a loosening general attachment to the village may not weaken community activity as is often feared. Instead, it is social attachment that motivates and facilitates volunteering, including among in-migrants. Efforts to strengthen local communities should therefore focus on enhancing social relations between villagers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume71
Early online date19-Jul-2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2019

Keywords

  • Place attachment
  • Elective belonging
  • Volunteering
  • Logistic regression
  • The Netherlands
  • PLACE ATTACHMENT
  • BIG SOCIETY
  • PEOPLE
  • PARTICIPATION
  • NEIGHBORHOODS
  • VOLUNTARISM
  • EXPERIENCES
  • MOBILITIES
  • RESIDENTS
  • NEWCOMER

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