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Betwixt and Between: The Invisible Experiences of Volunteers’ Body Work

journal contribution
posted on 19.11.2021, 15:07 by Katharine Venter
Prevailing dualisms of work as formal, paid employment on the one hand or informal, unpaid domestic labour on the other means volunteering is often overlooked. Although academic interest in voluntary labour is growing, it remains inadequately theorised in the sociology of work. A more sociological meaningful understanding of volunteering is needed. Through an analysis of voluntary body work labour this article advances theorisation of volunteering as work in two ways. Firstly, the article invokes a total social organisation of labour approach to overcome the paid/unpaid work dichotomy. Secondly, it grounds this theorisation empirically by drawing on the volunteers' insights into their delivery of body work labour to shed new light on the complex ways in which volunteers frame labour within wider social relationships.


Author affiliation

Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures, School of Business


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Work, Employment and Society


SAGE Publications



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