voluntary association


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voluntary association

or

voluntary organization

any organization (political parties, recreational clubs, etc.) where membership is optional and not a standard requirement of membership of a particular society. As Pickvance (1986) states, there is general agreement that voluntary associations are not institutions in the sense of social structures devised to organize action in the main areas of social life, such as firms, schools, governments’. Pickvance also identifies four further usual criteria in both common-sense and sociological definitions of voluntary associations:
  1. non-commercial orientation;
  2. they are public organizations in the sense that, formally at least, access is open to all;
  3. they are formally constituted organizations, often with an elected administration;
  4. they are nonstatutory, not established by law.

In the USA especially, voluntary associations have been widely identified as playing an indispensable role in the maintenance of STABLE DEMOCRACY, as fostering a participatory POLITICAL CULTURE and providing a training ground for political leaders. See also INTERMEDIATE (OR SECONDARY) GROUPS.

A renewed emphasis is being placed on voluntary and ‘third sector’ activity -including new partnerships with the state -in the less state-centred politics of the THIRD WAY. see also CIVIC ENTREPRENEUR.

References in periodicals archive ?
These preceding studies have successfully demonstrated black lay sodalities' unique roles and functions as voluntary associations for African-born slaves, and have placed a special emphasis on ethnicity and group sodality expressed in their memberships and governing bodies.
We aggregated them into the largest and most meaningful categories and intersections of categories, such as "organized sports sponsored by schools," "socials open to the public," and "lectures presented by voluntary associations.
Very little of our political system is based on voluntary association.
Equally, we mustn't fear that our national identity suffers in the voluntary association of European nations.
The bill instructed the district state administrations to monitor and determine possible pilot agricultural cooperatives on the principles of voluntary association of peasant farms, estimates of expected investment of funds of private partners, the number of buildings, structures, and equipment.
Abe previously visited Cambodia in 2008 as president of a voluntary association of Japanese parliamentarians for school construction in Cambodia.
He often referred to Proudhon's theory of federalism, Bakunin's critique of the state, and Kropotkin's theory of voluntary association.
The Open Government Partnership is a voluntary association of 50 nations committed to creating detailed open government plans and to sharing best practices.
While the Ekaterinburg historian Elena Kazakova-Apkarimova finds a thriving civil society in the sparsely populated region of the central Urals, Brian Horowitz emphasizes impediments and disharmony in his history of the largest and most successful Jewish voluntary association in imperial Russia.
The evidence shows the petitioner is a voluntary association formed in 2000 of individuals who claim but have not documented Indian ancestry.
All three chambers oppose the proposal, arguing that mandatory membership violates the concept of voluntary association.

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