Date of Award

Fall 5-7-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Cassandra White

Second Advisor

Kathryn A. Kozaitis

Third Advisor

Faidra Papavasiliou


This project examines how undergraduate and graduate students at a university in the Southern United States utilize and conceptualize volunteering at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, a time when volunteerism is on the rise despite a severe economic crisis. I was interested in taking an anthropological approach to explore the reasons that people volunteered as well as how their decisions about volunteering might be impacted by different aspects of their identity, including their ethnicity, gender identity, student status, and affiliation with student groups. Based on in-depth interviews and surveys conducted with five undergraduate and five graduate students, I learned about their motivations for volunteering and their perceptions about participating in volunteer activities.

Included in

Anthropology Commons