New Charity Economy and Affective Statehood

Volunteering for Food Banks and Social Supermarkets in Austria

How does the expansion of food charity institutions such as food banks and social supermarkets and recent transformations of the welfare state relate? And what role do volunteers play in this context? The research project “New Charity Economy Through the Lens of Affective Statehood” addresses these questions by examining the so far largely ignored role of volunteers and their self-images in such institutions in Austria. We are interested in how the state activates volunteers who donate their (spare) time in order to support people considered ‘needy’. Speaking of “affective statehood” we particularly investigate the kind of feelings that play a role here. To this end, the project draws on a methodological approach that combines qualitative interviews, affective methodologies, and small-scale ethnography.

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Project Number: P 35463

Funded by: FWF Austrian Science Fund

Timeframe: March 2023 – March 2026

Project Members: Brigitte Bargetz, Markus Griesser, Jessica Gasior (WU Wien)


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