Volunteering as a way to experience the authentic

by Sara Christiansen

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Authenticity; Volunteer; Experiences; Expectations; Focus group interview
Record ID: 1120456
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/18456


We examine the concept of authenticity in relation to the narratives from volunteers who have been in Uganda, Zambia or Malawi with Dan Church Aid. We will investigate how they articulate their experiences and their expectations prior to departure. This is done by a thematic analysis, which focuses on four concepts: Authenticity, memory in relation to storytelling, the real and volunteer while analyzing them in relation to social constructionism. Furthermore, we discuss the differences and similarities of the real and authenticity as well as whether or not the volunteer program can create an authentic experience. Our analysis and discussion show that the perception of authenticity is a result of social constructs, however, these constructs are made by the individuals.