Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Michael Wischnowski

Second Supervisor

Karyl Mammano

Abstract

An ever-growing resource in America today is our aging population. One out of every five adults will be age 65 or older by 2030. Indeed, Americans are living longer now than at any other time in history, and they have better health, education and a lifetime of experience to offer when volunteering. This study used the Integrated Theory of Volunteer Work as a theoretical framework. The Integrated Theory of Volunteer Work includes three types of resources: human capital, social capital and cultural capital. Although a large body of literature has documented that those factors are present in the general population, few studies have focused on the experiences of senior African American volunteers who are successfully engaged in secular, formal volunteering activities. The results of the dissertation show that social and cultural capitals are the most significant resources for recruitment and retention of high-low socioeconomic status African American volunteers. Also found are cultural tendencies of African Americans that are primarily focused on activities for the family and kinship network, even if participants are less fortunate themselves. The implications provide information for the field of volunteerism as it relates to African American volunteers, volunteer coordinators, and secular companies wishing to be more diverse in their recruitment strategies.

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