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Ordinary people like myself Character work and modesty in the Refugees Welcome movement.pdf (1.53 MB)

‘Ordinary people like myself’: Character work and modesty in the Refugees Welcome movement

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-13, 13:29 authored by P Monforte, T van Dijk

This article uses discourse analysis to investigate how British volunteers involved in the Refugees Welcome movement give an account of their engagement and of the changes that they aim to achieve through their actions. Focusing on the different ways participants ‘do modesty’ when they present their actions and their own role within the movement, we show that ‘character work’–their effort to shape their own reputation–is an essential feature of their discourse. In particular, we show that, by presenting themselves as 'modest' and 'ordinary' participants, they aim to display a character that is distinct from the heroic figure of the social activist and the humanitarian actor. In so doing, they construct a character that resists categorisations and an engagement which aims to appeal to universal values and emotions.

Funding

Exploring the frames of altruistic action. A comparative analysis of volunteers' engagement in British and French pro-asylum charities

Economic and Social Research Council

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History

Author affiliation

School of media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Journal of Civil Society

Volume

19

Issue

1

Pagination

20 - 36

Publisher

T&F

issn

1744-8689

eissn

1744-8697

Copyright date

2023

Available date

2023-09-13

Language

en

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