Volunteering and volunteer practice as a way of university students’ self-realization

Volume 5, Number 3, 2020, P. 377–388


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The article discusses the issues of volunteering as a way of students’ self-realization. The authors point out the ambiguity of interpretation of the term “self-realization” and its comparability with such concepts as “selfdetermination”, “self-actualization”. The theoretical approaches to these concepts developed in sociological science are considered. The issue of success of an individual’s self-realization which is determined by a person’s awareness of their own capabilities and potentials in various types of social activity including volunteering is examined. The article presents the results of applied sociological research implemented in quantitative and qualitative paradigms: questionnaire survey and focus group discussion. It emphasizes that volunteering as a type of social activity contributes to self-realization of university students and expansion of their social practices. Volunteer activities facilitate youngsters’ socialization, creation of communicative space and accumulation of social and cultural capital. This is especially important for first-year students when they are looking for their place in the world. The study results have revealed young people’s priorities on the types of volunteer activities. For instance, one of them is the so-called “event volunteering”. The study has shown the main motives of students and the reasons and circumstances that may hinder the participation of young people in volunteering.


self-realization, students’ socialization, volunteering, event volunteering, motivation


Victor B. Bolshov, Cand. Sci. (Sociology), Associate Professor of Sociology Department, Kuban State University, Krasnodar, Russia

Vladislav V. Nikolaenko, assistant of Sociology Department, Kuban State University, Krasnodar, Russia

For citation:

Bolshov V.B., Nikolaenko V.V. (2020) Volunteering and volunteer practice as a way of university students’ self-realization. Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. Vol. 5. No. 3. Pp. 377–388. (In Russ.)


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