Civil society’s impact on quality of life

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The purpose of the article is to analyze the impact of three forms of involvement in organized civil society–as ‘participant’, as ‘member’ and as ‘volunteer’–on self-assessed quality of life when checking for coherence between the three forms of participation. The article is inspired by both Lim and Putnam’s claim that close social networks around meaningful and identity-bearing activities increase self-assessed quality of life and Stebbins’ claim that life satisfaction is an essential by-product of ‘serious leisure’. This article utilizes data from a digital survey study conducted among adult citizens in Denmark, which 2514 citizens answered. The questionnaire contained a broad range of questions regarding participation in leisure activities, membership in associations, engagement in voluntary work, subjective life-satisfaction, self-assessed health and social background of the respondents. The statistical regression analysis shows a correlation between volunteering in general and self-assessed quality of life, but the correlation is relatively weak. However, the analysis does not show a significant correlation between the quality of life and membership in an association and participation in ‘serious leisure’. Of the other variables included, self-assessed health, in particular, contributes to explaining the variation in self-assessed quality of life.

TidsskriftJournal of Civil Society
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)57-75
StatusUdgivet - 2023


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