Volume 7, Issue 1, February 2018, Page: 36-42
Seniors and Volunteering: An Italian Study into Gender Differences
Lucia Boccacin, Department of Sociology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy
Linda Lombi, Department of Sociology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy
Received: Nov. 16, 2017;       Accepted: Nov. 23, 2017;       Published: Dec. 23, 2017
DOI: 10.11648/      View  1977      Downloads  73
Various studies on active ageing have focused on social participation as an element in the promotion of related policies. Literature on the subject reveals that the participation in voluntary activities is a factor which contributes positively to the process of active ageing. This article explores gender disparities related to active volunteerism among Italian seniors. Of the 900 active subjects aged between 65 and 74 who participated, 146 were engaged in voluntary activities. Constrained cluster analysis techniques based on a series of variables including age, income type, relationship networks, value attributions, and sector of volunteering association were applied to identify the statistical differences between elderly male and female volunteers. The results show a difference in volunteer profile between the genders. Male volunteers are younger, often married and more active, while women are older, often widows and possessing a strong religious vocation. Furthermore, while men are more likely to be involved in activities related to sports, women tend to donate time to solidarity and educational initiatives aimed at individuals. The promotion of active ageing policies should consider as crucial not only the differences in national welfare regimes, but also how gender disparities determine different forms and opportunities for social participation.
Active Ageing, Gender Differences, Gender Disparities, Volunteerism, Social Participation, Civic Engagement
To cite this article
Lucia Boccacin, Linda Lombi, Seniors and Volunteering: An Italian Study into Gender Differences, Social Sciences. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2018, pp. 36-42. doi: 10.11648/
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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