International volunteerism, by facilitating multinational work projects, seeks to achieve world peace through cultural interaction, education, and understanding. This ethnographic case study of a volunteer project in rural Portugal reveals the complexities of this goal. It shows how volunteer identity, national identity, and group dynamics can help and hinder the movement's objective. In the present analysis, I focus on individuals' social identity and their positions as both volunteers and national representatives, claiming individuals struggled to internalize both of these role identities. In turn, I also scrutinized the volunteer project by examining its group dynamics, arguing they displayed a continuum between cooperation and conflict. Investigating identity and group dynamics sheds light on international volunteerism from the bottom-up; from the perspectives of volunteers themselves. Casting a wider net, I ask if international peace is possible or if the utopia of multinational cooperation is a lofty dream in a divided world system.
|Advisor:||Scott, George M.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 51/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, Peace Studies, International Relations|
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