Volunteer Movement’s Social Regulation In Public Space Of Modern Youth

Abstract

Volunteer movement contributes to raising the level and quality of Russian youth sociality, building up its social capital. The society needs socially active young people with the prevalence of publicly responsible participation in emerging problems' solution. The expanding social space of volunteer publicity requires an adequate social regulation through public and personal and self-organization with the help of educational and educational-communicative technologies, as well as joint practices of social action and solidarity manifestations. The significance of the presented article from the perspective of socio-philosophical discourse is also goverened by the fact that the year of 2018 in Russia has been declared the Year of Volunteers at the governmental level. Dwelling in many respects on the problems of society, adults, children and youth, participating in a social activity as a socially active population, are the activists of the volunteer movement in various spheres. Child and youth volunteering only becomes an organic part of the younger generation socialization if the basic values of the volunteer movement and norms of practical participation in its implementation. Thus, the volunteer movement, carrying out various public activities of solidarity, expands the public environment of social activity of modern youth, introducing changes in the social interactions of Russian society through a dialogue and strengthening of solidarity and joint activity at the personal, group and social levels.

Keywords: Volunteer movementpublicitysocialitypopulationsocial activity

Introduction

The relevance of the given topic is determined by the development of the volunteer movement as a form of publicity, growth and enhancement of the young people's sociality level at the present stage of the development of Russian society. Within this framework, volunteering is not only a manifestation of publicity, but also an important way to increase and build-up social capital of the younger generation, a way to develop its socio-political and spiritual activity, to create and to increase the environment of its publicity. The significance of the presented article from the perspective of socio-philosophical discourse is also goverened by the fact that the year of 2018 in Russia has been declared the Year of Volunteers at the governmental level (Warburton, 2007).

Nowadays, an important priority for Russia's development is the growth of population that concerns not only physical population growth and the overall demographic growth, that is the demographic problem's solution, but mainly regards the increase of social quality, the growth of social capital of citizens, their intellectual and community-minded level of living enhancement (Okun, 1994). Moreover, such highly socially defined priority of a human life is necessary both for the individual and for society, in which a person develops from childhood to adulthood. Throughout life, society needs socially active, leading representatives of both adult population and youth, as well as children. It should be accepted that today, the volunteer activity is becoming an increasingly conventional form of solving life problems and socially important tasks and demonstrates high potential for volunteerism as a resource capable of promptly responding to various emergencies and reducing social tensions in society (Wilson & Musick, 1999).

Dwelling in many respects on the problems of society, adults, children and youth, participating in a social activity as a socially active population, are the activists of the volunteer movement in various spheres. Main application areas of Russian youth's participation experience in volunteer activity are: natural-ecological, socio-cultural and technosphere. The most popular volunteer activities are feasible financial aid (35.0 %) and donorship (38.5 %). Activities that imply personal intangible resources (time, will, emotions) are least demanded: readiness for such activities as elimination of consequences of catastrophes, accidents, natural disasters, etc. comprises 31.5 %; organization and holding of events, ecological movements and landscaping is 30.7 %; the help to homeless animals, zoos and nature reserves is 33.7 %; work with orphans and children from disadvantaged families is 30.5 % (Pevnaya, 2017; Wheeler, Gorey & Greenblatt, 1998).

Problem Statement

In our opinion, the most significant problem related to the development and improvement of volunteer movement's social regulation is the expansion of information and communication support by improving volunteer public environment and also by increasing the evaluation of public significance of volunteering. The development and clarification of the importance of publicity is gaining principle importance as an environment for the values realization of youth movement volunteering itself and in conjunction with other age categories of the socially active population of Russia. In this regard, it should be noted that the term "public" has several social meanings and contains various variants of social characteristics, being derived from the Latin "publico" (I declare publicly) (Inoguchi & Quynh, 2016).

Research Questions

The volunteer activity appears to be as well-known and "publicly declared" as mentioned above. A volunteer is a popularly declared, recognizable public figure, the people helper in serious situations, in particular, where qualified assistance is especially in need. But in order to help somebody in difficult moment, one must know and be able to do lot of things: to know a foreign language, for example, to have the skills of providing first aid treatment, to be able to talk with unfamiliar people, to love children, to respect the elders, to treat animals humanely, not to tolerate vandalism and rudeness, to fight against deformation of spiritual values, to defend generally accepted norms and values, to observe common cultural patterns of behaviour (Ivanova & Kulichkina, 2017).

This is the first step towards the publicity of common sense, the formation of publicity itself and the public-responsible young generation. There are many ways of acquiring publicly responsible behavior. Currently, many children go in for sports, learn foreign languages, do art, pay attention to various movements, actions, hobby clubs. Being involved in many spheres, they, nevertheless, try to fulfil their duty and bear the burden of social responsibility, being socially responsible, socially active, public young citizens of Russia. Their comprehensive public activity is necessary not only for their own personal growth and the acquisition of social capital, but also it is important for the society, so that within its framework a socially responsible, public citizen of Russia grows up.

Purpose of the Study

Volunteers act in the public environment, where public opinion plays an important regulatory role; they master and conquer it in accordance with the goals of their movement. Motives for their actions can be associated with internal determinants of altruistic or pragmatic orientation as well as to be determined by external patterns of behavior, action and communication related to the prevailing society values and norms refracted through public opinion. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first to speak about the social-regulative role of public opinion in social action by mentioning it in his works. Thesis on the importance of public opinion in the social context as a social regulator of people's behavior holds a significant position in the socio-philosophical and sociological work of Y. Habermas (Habermas, 2001). Y. Habermas in his book «Structural change of the public sphere. Research on the category of bourgeois society» provides an in-depth analysis of the essence of the society's communicative basis. His analysis still has not lost its relevance considering the formation and evolution of civil society and the public sphere, the history of the emergence of public opinion. «Judging by the analysis of Habermas, the opinion from the private concept has turned into a public one, having passed a long way of transformations. Only Jean-Jacques Rousseau qualifies it as belonging to society, and not to secretive groups. According to Habermas, the great French enlightener was the first who used the term «opinion public» (Bandurin, 2013).

Research Methods

The regulatory influence of public opinion in the public environment of modern society communication creates the basis for the appearance of public children, many of whom are future volunteers. Modern volunteer movement is impossible without the regulatory role of publicity: the public environment, the public itself, public children, public youth, public opinion (Volkov, 2017).

Thus, volunteerism represents a social phenomenon that is necessary in today's conditions and that can be formed in the context of family socialization and educational practices offered by society. These educational practices facilitate the realization and formation of the value-semantic sphere of the volunteer movement. Volunteering is impossible without providing it with the necessary educational potential that creates cognitive parameters for self-realization of volunteers, starting from childhood and continuing in the conditions of adulthood. Volunteers need not only feelings and emotional impulses while doing their activities, but they also need knowledge, awareness from the perspective of scientific, educational and everyday level of knowledge, from those negative social consequences that may arise in society if they fail to perform their volunteer functions (Volkov, 2017). And in this case, volunteers need knowledge as a socio-regulatory phenomenon of their activities, its organization and self-organization. Thus, volunteering, considered as a process in connection with educational background, allows providing active, independent, helpful activity of students that is carried out in various ways and aimed at achieving individual goals, and volunteer experience creates conditions for positive socialization of students, their mastering cultural norms and individualizing of education (Volkov, 2003).

In today's conditions, the volunteer movement is a powerful, gaining strength, social movement, in which modern young people play an important role. In the public space of the life of the Russian youth, an adequate social regulation of the volunteer movement is needed within the framework of international volunteering, represented by relevant organizations almost all over the world. In one country or another, the development of volunteering is due to historical, demographic, cultural, social, economic, environmental and other sociocultural factors (Mutchler, Burr, & Caro, 2003).

In many countries, the volunteer movement is becoming increasingly popular and sought-after society, and the degree of public participation in volunteering reaches 33–35 % at the subject level — the subject interaction of people, when social regulation is carried out without instructions from above, not by the managing subject. voluntary intersubjective interaction based on the acceptance, perception and fulfillment of the moral and cultural norms of the social community. In Russia, volunteering has not yet become an everyday practice of the life of society, but recently it has been gaining momentum more and more (Davis, 2001; Bussell, 2002). And this is confirmed by the participation of citizens, especially young people, in the conduct and implementation of socially significant events and projects of all-Russian and world level and importance. The solution of many socially significant tasks in the days of the Winter Olympics in Sochi (2014), the World Cup in Russia (2018) is directly connected with the volunteer movement, voluntary participation of young people (Potter-Efron, 1982). And although the interaction index of Russian citizens is at a level of up to 10 %, because this low figure is due to periods of past authoritarian repression of personal development and leveling of social activity of people, society still reaches a level where, in principle, volunteering is impossible without volunteering. (Chen, 2013; Volkov, 2017).

In the context of historical memory, young Russians need to remember domestic samples of volunteer, disinterested activity of ascetics teachers, ordinary people who voluntarily rose to defend their Fatherland during the hard years of wars that threatened to lose national identity, or participated in various movements, collecting funds for the benefit of society, voluntary societies (Bautista, Rubtso & Biktimirov, 2016; Eckel & Grossman, 2000;).

In this regard, one should also summarize the experience of leading foreign countries in the field of the formation and development of volunteer institutions for the involvement of young citizens in disinterested, voluntary activities (Brown & Zahrly, 1989).

Considering the main types and forms of volunteer, voluntary movement, it is necessary to combine its development with measures to support the government, establish regulatory legislation, identify links with private and public partnership, as well as international cooperation. This article is an attempt based on the analysis of international and Russian experience in the development of volunteering to summarize the experience of youth volunteering as relevant, in-demand public activities of the modern youth of Russia (Pestereva, Nadeina, 2014; Pestereva, 2015; Krechetnikov & Pestereva, 2017; Pestereva, Nadeina, Savinkina, 2014; Bandurina, 2011).

Volunteer resources today are used by the governments of many countries, involving young people in solving social problems. The volunteer movement is developed all over the world, highly valued in society. It is useful and necessary not only to those to whom help is directed, but also important for self-realization of volunteers, and spiritual growth and development, increasing a sense of their own social significance, acquiring new knowledge and skills for future professional activities (Fitzsimmons, 1986; Kadyrov, 2018).

The volunteer movement of young people in Russia at the present stage is influenced by the experience of foreign countries, therefore the role of international integration and coordination of activities that are carried out by developing links with the most famous volunteer organizations, such as: United Nations Volunteers promoting ideas of volunteering and implementing specific practical projects in the world (United Nations General Assembly 56th, 2001);

Service Civil International is an international organization that was founded in the 20th years of the 19th century and has 33 branches all over the world, with the task of propagating the ideas of peace, mutual assistance, solidarity, social justice and environmental protection;

"Youth Action for Peace" - an international youth organization, operating since 1923, promoting the ideas of peace, cooperation between nations, opposing wars;

International Cultural Youth Exchange, operating since 1949 and having more than 30 branches in many countries of the world;

The Alliance of European Volunteer Service Organizations, founded in 1982 as the coordinating center for European volunteer organizations;

The Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Services, which was founded under the auspices of UNESCO in 1948, and currently directs the activities of more than 200 national volunteer organizations (Farmer & Fedor, 2001);

The Association of Voluntary Service, acts as a focal point for European volunteer organizations, protecting and promoting the interests of volunteers at the level of social organizations and institutions, as well as governments.

Worldwide is the most famous Russian volunteer, in cooperation with many international organizations listed above, implementing various projects and programs in Russia in the process of international volunteer exchange in the volunteer movement (Handy & Srinivasan, 2004).

Findings

The leading role of the teacher and the academic staff is important and demanded here. They are called to increase the "degree" of publicity, relevance and social significance of educational background in the volunteer movement by their educational activity.

Volunteer movement is inconceivable without a close connection with patriotic upbringing, as one of its basic directions (Nelson, Netting, Huber & Borders, 2004).

Within this context, it is not just the «love for the country» theme in all its debatable manifestations that is important for the volunteer movement, but joint activities, consolidation, the desire to overcome social apathy, isolation and distrust of surrounding and power structures.

Conclusion

Joint activities of the «common goal» for the benefit of Russia in this or that volunteer organization serve as an objective basis for the patriotism of the volunteer movement. It is «in joint activities, loyalty to the state and the absence of claims for group exclusivity and monopoly are assessed» (Newman, Vasudev & Onawola, 1985), while "the desire for solidarity as a positive form of solidarity activity has a socially projective orientation". (Member States on the Millennium Summit, 2000; Quality. Unites Nations, 2011).

Thus, the volunteer movement, carrying out various public activities of solidarity, expands the public environment of social activity of modern youth, introducing changes in the social interactions of Russian society through a dialogue and strengthening of solidarity and joint activity at the personal, group and social levels.

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18 December 2019

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Bandurin, A. P., & Bandurina*, I. P. (2019). Volunteer Movement’s Social Regulation In Public Space Of Modern Youth. In I. B. Ardashkin, B. Vladimir Iosifovich, & N. V. Martyushev (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 50. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 106-112). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.12.14