Volunteerism, solidarity and social capital

Alessio Valastro


This paper focuses on volunteerism, which has been increasingly acknowledged and appreciated in Italy over the last years as a significant expression of solidarity and participation and a promoter of human rights. As Ota De Leonardis puts it, this phenomenon is «blurred, with uncertain boundaries and extremely diversified». (De Leonardis, 1998: 53) The paper, written in the European Year of Volunteering, aims at analyzing the collective system of volunteering with a view to assessing the phenomenon inItaly, as well as its evolutionary dynamics, which have been profoundly affected by the entry into force of the framework law on volunteering in 1991. It is important to underline the public importance of such actions, above all in the perspective of the link between volunteering and social capital. These concept will be analyzed within the framework of some analytical approaches to the concept of social capital in the literature.


volunteerism; social capital; individualism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/isr.v2i1.27

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