ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Nataliya S. Voronina Candidate of Sociology
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0001-8859-6803
Olga A. Basheva Candidate of Sociology
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0003-1459-0091
Motivation of volunteers involved in emergency situation response: results of a mass survey.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2022. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 65-90

The study was carried out within the project "Volunteering in emergency situations as a response to natural and man-made challenges in Russia", supported by the Russian Science Foundation, grant No. 19-78-10052.

Дата поступления статьи: 05.03.2022
Topic: Civic engagement in Russia: institutions and motivations

For citation:
Voronina N. S., Basheva O. A. Motivation of volunteers involved in emergency situation response: results of a mass survey. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2022. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 65-90


This article being a continuation of the work published in the Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (2021. Volume 12. No. 4) analyses the motivation of volunteers operating in emergency situations (ES). The participation of volunteers is seen as a real effective tool to help official services respond to emergencies (floods, fires, people missing in natural and urban environments). At the same time, the activity of volunteers is associated with physical and emotional stress, risks to life and health, and therefore it is important to know what motivates these people to get involved in this activity and stay in it for a long time. The authors show that this topic remains little studied in Russia.

To search for the most adequate methodology for studying the motivations of Russian volunteers, the authors have analysed the existing theoretical approaches, as well as a number of qualitative and quantitative empirical studies on the relevant issues.

The results of a mass survey conducted by the authors demonstrate that motives common in Russia are similar in meaning to the typology of motives proposed by E.G.Clary and M. Snyder. The most common motives are altruistic (the need for gratuitous help to people) and personal (characterised by the need of self-development). Russian volunteers most often receive symbolic rewards for their activities: diplomas, official gratitude, or the opportunity to participate in training seminars. At the same time, they note that they do not expect anything at all in return for their help. When choosing a volunteer organisation, volunteers most often focus on the range of problems this organisation deals with, as well as on the opportunity within this organisation to realise their own potential. The analysis also showed that almost half of the respondents once had thoughts of quitting volunteer activities, and first of all, due to emotional burnout. However, in their plans for 3–5 years, almost all respondents do not plan to stop volunteering. The results obtained are analysed from the standpoint of theories of motivation by A.Maslow, L.Hustinx and F. Lammertyn.


sociology, rescue volunteering, emergencies, motivation, participation motives, Russia

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