I've got your back: Danger, volunteering and solidarity in lifeboat crews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article considers solidarity as a dynamic interrelationship between intersubjective and structural processes that underpin webs of meaning in dangerous work conditions. Conceptual links are developed to integrate previously unconnected aspects of work and relationships between danger, volunteering, edgework and solidarity - revealing how a distinct form of solidarity is engendered and experienced. Drawing on 43 in-depth interviews with Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) workers operating in the UK and Ireland (12 paid and 31 volunteers), the analysis illuminates experiences of solidarity in a dangerous working environment. Findings reveal that solidarity is constituted by the interplay between volunteering work practices, shared experiences of rescues, and the meaningful purpose of safeguarding human life. This empirical study provides a basis for theorising distinct conditions relating to solidarity as differentiated from previous work on the concept. Further implications are discussed for contexts where various forms of danger and solidarity might be experienced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-90
JournalWork, Employment And Society
Volume34
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • dangerous work
  • edgework
  • meaningful work
  • solidarity
  • volunteering

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