Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144108
Title: GEOGRAPHIES OF VOLUNTARISM: A CASE STUDY OF PAINT-A-HOME IN SINGAPORE
Authors: Koh Shi Li
Keywords: Geographies of voluntarism, care, active citizenship, case study, contact zones, Singapore
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Koh Shi Li (2016). GEOGRAPHIES OF VOLUNTARISM: A CASE STUDY OF PAINT-A-HOME IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Looking at the case study of Paint-A-Home (PAH) conducted by the National University of Singapore’s Community Service Club, this thesis seeks to unpack the assumptions embedded within the literature and policy discourses on geographies of voluntarism, care and active citizenship and their relationship. Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with twelve participants from PAH 2015, I argue that the practice of voluntarism in place is messy and complex, rather than being wholly positive as presented in policy discourses. Motivations to volunteer and the situated practices of voluntarism in the contact zones with the beneficiaries in their rental units demonstrate the absence of care from the volunteers to the beneficiaries. Additionally, the relationship between care and volunteers is further complicated by the actual interaction between volunteers and beneficiaries. Rather than a unidirectional care as envisioned in the project’s rhetoric, care in the contact zones could be multi-directional or even rejected instead. I also argue that the national rhetoric of fostering a caring society through voluntarism may be difficult to achieve due to the different degrees of impact that PAH can bring to different individuals as they mediate through varying emotions and practices within the contact zone. Since experiences from localised spaces of volunteering is myriad rather than homogenously positive, it is hence difficult to generalise the effects of voluntarism on the achievability of the national rhetoric. In addition, the lack of critical engagement with voluntarism may result in apolitical notions of community service in voluntarism, therefore reproducing spaces of social inequalities rather than reducing them.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144108
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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