Volunteering in Spanish Older People: A Life Course and Multicontextual Perspective

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Montserrat CELDRAN, University of Barcelona, Spain
Rodrigo SERRAT, University of Barcelona, Spain
Sacramento PINAZO-HERNANDIS, University of Valencia, Spain
Carme SOLE, University Ramon Llull, Spain
Feliciano VILLAR, University of Barcelona, Spain
This study explores older people’s involvement in volunteer activities through non-governmental organizations in Spain. The objective was to describe trajectories of this kind of participation across older people’s life and how it is balanced or confronted with other traditional roles as grandparenthood. Thirty-nine older adults that volunteering in 3 different organizations (management, cultural actions, and social care) participated in the study. A semi-structured interview was used in order to elicit narratives of how important is to older adults to have an impact in their society either in their families or through their volunteer activities. Data was verbatim transcribed and results were analyzed by Atlas.ti program. Three main issues were highlighted: the confrontation with a stereotyped image of older adults as passive, the on-going duty/responsibility towards family and society, and the rewards older adults obtained doing volunteer activities. Those results will be analyzed taking into account macrovariables (such as the economic crisis) and microvariables, such as identity, generativity and activism in older population.