Homeownership and volunteering

An alternative approach to studying social inequality and civic engagement

Thomas Rotolo, John Wilson, Mary Elizabeth Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous research on volunteering finds significant differences by race and social class. We augment these findings by examining a largely ignored measure of social class: tenure status, the distinction between renters and homeowners. We test a theory that predicts people volunteer more if they have a "stake" in their community and we use the value of their home as a measure of the size of this stake, with renters having no stake at all, using data from the 2003 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We find that although homeowners volunteer more than renters, the value of their home has no influence on their volunteer work. Length of residence in the neighborhood has a positive effect on volunteerism. Tenure status partially mediates the influence of race and family income on volunteering but not education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-587
Number of pages18
JournalSociological Forum
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

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homeowner
social inequality
social class
volunteerism
family income
Values
income
community
education

Keywords

  • Civic engagement
  • Community
  • Homeownership
  • Social class
  • Social inequality
  • Volunteering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Homeownership and volunteering : An alternative approach to studying social inequality and civic engagement. / Rotolo, Thomas; Wilson, John; Hughes, Mary Elizabeth.

In: Sociological Forum, Vol. 25, No. 3, 09.2010, p. 570-587.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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