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Race and Formal Volunteering: The Differential Effects of Class and Religion

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"Race and Formal Volunteering: The Differential Effects of Class and Religion"
Marc Musick, John Wilson, and William Bynum
Social Forces, June 2000

Marc Musick and John Wilson are doing some of the most interesting and useful studies of volunteer behavior today, and this current article, co-written with William Bynum, is no exception. In what is both a review of available literature and new research of their own, the authors provide a thorough and useful look at whether and how volunteering by African-Americans differs from volunteering by whites.

Among their findings and conclusions (and covering both the literature review and their own additional research):

  1. "...(F)or all kinds of volunteering except the entirely secular, black volunteering is more influenced by church attendance than is white volunteering, a reflection of the more prominent role of the black church in its community...(and) among volunteers for secular activities, church attendance has a negative effect on volunteering, but only for whites."