voluntary association

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voluntary association


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.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
We could apply the principle of voluntary association.
Equally, we mustn't fear that our national identity suffers in the voluntary association of European nations.
He often referred to Proudhon's theory of federalism, Bakunin's critique of the state, and Kropotkin's theory of voluntary association. He gave credit to Proudhon for developing, well before Ward had, 'an anarchist theory of social organisation, of small units federated together but with no central power' (Ward 1974: 12).
The Open Government Partnership is a voluntary association of 50 nations committed to creating detailed open government plans and to sharing best practices.
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.
The great question that must be answered by conservatives is that of the relevance in our time of such values as the family, neighborhood, locality, religion, social rank, voluntary association, and, alone making these possible, limited political government.
A Emirates Voluntary Association team is participating in the event, which is being organised by Lebanon's National Volunteer Centre in cooperation with the Arab Union for Voluntary Work under the patronage of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri.
ADD-ADHD Cyprus is a voluntary association that provides support, information, education and advocacy to support its vision of an integrated and empowered AD/HD community.
This paper is the first Canadian analysis to consider voluntary association activity among a large array of ethnic groups, using national sample survey data and applying multivariate controls.
The Hope Now program, a voluntary association made up of mortgage lenders, said only about one-tenth of the delinquent loans in Florida were modified in 2008.

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