© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, DOI: 10.1163/156805808X333938 EJEAS . () – European Journal of East Asian Studies www.brill.nl/ejea A Collective of %eir Own: Young Volunteers at the Fringes of the Party Realm 1 Unn Målfrid H. Rolandsen University of Oslo email@example.com Abstract Based on fieldwork in an urban branch of the China Youth Volunteers’ Association this article discusses how individual motivation for volunteering among young middle-class stu- dents plays a role in the internal reforming of one of the few oﬃcially authorised associa- tions available for young people. Whereas Chinese volunteering was once a Party-driven eﬀort supported by Maoist calls to ‘Serve the people’, contemporary Chinese volunteering is promoted with a focus on the volunteer’s own experience and commitment. Interviews and participant observation demonstrate how young volunteers use the Party-linked Volun- teers’ Association not merely instrumentally to support their own personal ambitions, but also as a social space where the individual may find room to ‘give and share beyond the fam- ily’. %e analysis shows that volunteering is perceived diﬀerently by volunteers’ families, the local media, the local community and the volunteers themselves. %e article concludes that what attracts youth to the volunteer movement is the opportunity
European Journal of East Asian Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: VOLUNTEERING; MIDDLE-CLASS YOUTH
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