VCS
Economic Forum Launch
Dr Vanessa Beck
Dr Daniela Rudloff
University of Leicester
23 October 2013
Coping strategies
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How do people respond to stress?
◦  Problem focused coping
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Active coping
Plann...
Individualism vs. collectivism
— 

Increased individualism in society and requirement for
individual responsibility (e.g....
Volunteering and volunteer
wellbeing
—  Increased

wellbeing observed and
self-reported by volunteers
◦  Lower mortality ...
Volunteering and happiness
Strong correlation between mental and
physical wellbeing and volunteering – but is
there a caus...
‘Reasonable altruism’
—  However,

this is true only where
volunteering does not ‘overwhelm’ the
volunteer, causing compa...
Emotional labour
—  This

refers to the effort, planning and
control that is required to express
desired emotions (Karaba...
Homology (I am like you: empathy, acceptance, role
model)
They see that, that’s explained, that’s what you can do.
She’s c...
The police / keeping it real
I think the providers that deal with the problems a bit more
successfully are (…) just real w...
References
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Beck, U., 1990. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage.
B...
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Dr Vanessa Beck's Presentation at VAL's Economic Inclusion Forum Launch

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Voluntary Action LeicesterShire's Economic Inclusion Forum Launch was a huge success thanks in large part to speakers like Vanessa Beck. The forum focuses on giving the VCS a voice in economic development across Leicester and Leicestershire.

To learn more about the Economic Inclusion Forum and all of VAL's forums, visit us online at www.valonline.org.uk.

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Dr Vanessa Beck's Presentation at VAL's Economic Inclusion Forum Launch

  1. 1. VCS Economic Forum Launch Dr Vanessa Beck Dr Daniela Rudloff University of Leicester 23 October 2013
  2. 2. Coping strategies —  How do people respond to stress? ◦  Problem focused coping –  –  –  –  –  Active coping Planning Suppression of competing activities Restraint coping Seeking of instrumental social support ◦  Emotion focused coping –  –  –  –  –  Seeking of emotional social support Positive reinterpretation Acceptance Denial Turning to religion ◦  Less constructive ways of coping –  Venting of emotions –  Behavioural disengagement –  Mental disengagement (Carver et al., 1989)
  3. 3. Individualism vs. collectivism —  Increased individualism in society and requirement for individual responsibility (e.g. welfare, employability, etc.) ◦  Risk Society (Beck, 1992) and second or reflexive modernity (Beck et al.,1994) ◦  Individualisation constitutes “unspoken ideological foundations” (Dean, 2004, p. 12) —  “[T]he individualistic nature of contemporary culture serve[s] to discourage a sense of responsibility for others” (Ellis and Rogers, 2004, p. 93). —  Examples from project on unemployed women’s coping strategies: ◦  Self help / support group (phone lists, activities from everyday to cultural) ◦  Conversations (interviews) act as ‘therapy’
  4. 4. Volunteering and volunteer wellbeing —  Increased wellbeing observed and self-reported by volunteers ◦  Lower mortality rates ◦  More likely to be happier, less likely to suffer from depression ◦  Report higher levels of life satisfaction ◦  Lower risk factors for stress-related illness, e.g. heart disease
  5. 5. Volunteering and happiness Strong correlation between mental and physical wellbeing and volunteering – but is there a causal link? —  How does volunteering improve volunteer happiness? —  ◦  Trains empathy ◦  Provides social comparison, lowers concern for status ◦  Socially integrated ◦  Better (perceived) coping skills ◦  More active lifestyle —  All these factors can be linked to improved mood -> less stress -> better health
  6. 6. ‘Reasonable altruism’ —  However, this is true only where volunteering does not ‘overwhelm’ the volunteer, causing compassion fatigue —  Burn-out due to intense emotions, often combined with lack of training —  Most likely to occur after significant time of experience when idealism and enthusiasm likely to be replaced with realism and cynicism —  Volunteering requires „self-renewal“: new roles, self-reflection, time off
  7. 7. Emotional labour —  This refers to the effort, planning and control that is required to express desired emotions (Karabanow 1999). —  The establishment of a personal and trusting relationship is in itself an emotional and intense process —  Examples of different relationships from project of learning providers working with NEETs
  8. 8. Homology (I am like you: empathy, acceptance, role model) They see that, that’s explained, that’s what you can do. She’s come from where you are. —  Mother (not father?) figure: nurture, support, caring … we make them toast in the morning and you know clear up after them. [T]he problem for me as a male, is that they’re trying to compute in their head who’s “Ben”, who is he, what is this role model, is he my dad, is he my granddad, most of them have a step dad who they don’t seem to like very much, they haven't had a male role model and that’s vital. — 
  9. 9. The police / keeping it real I think the providers that deal with the problems a bit more successfully are (…) just real with them and say look this is reality, this is what’s going to happen and then that’s it. —  Sales strategies: create demand, responsive, listen [O]ne of the most valuable things I ever learnt in sales, which I employ religiously with working with young people, is get to know your end user and don’t make a product that you yourself wouldn’t want to buy. —  The soldier: challenge I just don’t believe in pampering people too much. I believe, alright you’ve had a bad background, you’ve had a bad start, what you going to do, sit there crying or are you going to stand up and fight? — 
  10. 10. References —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  Beck, U., 1990. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage. Beck, U., Giddens, A. and Lash, S. (1994) Reflexive Modernization. Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Cambridge: Polity Press. Borgonovi, F. (2008). Doing well by doing good. The relationship between formal volunteering and self-reported health and happiness. Social Science and Medicine, 66, 2321-2334. Carver, C., Scheier, M. and Weintraub, J. (1989) Assessing Coping Strategies: A Theoretically Based Approach, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(2): 267-283. Dean, H. (2004) Human Rights and welfare rights: contextualising dependency and responsibility. In: H. Dean (ed.) The Ethics of Welfare, Human rights, dependency and responsibility. Bristol: Policy Press, 7-28. Ellis, K. and Rogers, R. (2004) Fostering a human rights discourse in the provision of social care for adults. In: H. Dean (ed.) The Ethics of Welfare, Human rights, dependency and responsibility. Bristol: Policy Press, 89-109. Haski-Leventhal, D., and Bargal, D. (2008). The volunteer stages and transitions model: Organisational socialisation of volunteers. Human Relations, 61: 67. Karabanow, J., 1999. When Caring Is Not Enough: Emotional Labor and Youth Shelter Workers. Social Service Review, 73 (3), 340-357. Post, S. (2005). Altruism, Happiness and Health: It’s Good to Be Good. International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 12(2), 66-77.

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