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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Homeownership and volunteering: An alternative approach to studying social inequality and civic engagement

TitleHomeownership and volunteering: An alternative approach to studying social inequality and civic engagement
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRotolo, T, Wilson, J, Hughes, ME
JournalSociological Forum
Volume25
Pagination570-587
KeywordsCivic engagement, Community, Homeownership, Social Class, Social inequality, Volunteering
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. © 2010 Eastern Sociological Society.