Images of the volunteers: media versus memory

Rachelle Hope Saltzman

in A Lark for the Sake of Their Country

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780719079771
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781704080 | DOI:
Images of the volunteers: media versus memory

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‘Images of the Volunteers’: media versus memory’ presents and analyzes the differences between the media's take on the volunteers and those of individuals. While media accounts tended to be summarizing and focused on titled or well-placed volunteers, those of individuals provide a variety of motives for volunteering as well as more mundane details about the work involved. Both sources detailed liminal qualities of volunteer life—the temporary shelters, extra license and freedoms afforded to youthful volunteers, the sheer excitement of doing something out of the ordinary. Individual accounts, however, tended to emphasize the often hard and tedious work involved. The media did their level best to concentrate on elite volunteers, creating an image that has endured in the collective memory. In contrast, oral history interviews provide a more complete perspective and serve in part to refute the popular image of the volunteers.

Keywords: Volunteers; Liminal; Work; Collective memory; Oral history; Image; Media

Chapter.  22150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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