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Building bridges: the third sector responding locally to diversity

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This paper focuses on a hitherto unstudied segment of the broad 'third sector': organisations and groupings that aim to build bridges (that is, increase interpersonal contacts) between people of different faiths and/or ethnic groups. We draw on the findings of an empirical study, conducted in three diverse urban areas of England, of community-level projects with bridge building as an explicit aim. We describe the characteristics of bridge-building activities and the challenges they face; both the organisational challenges and those that arise from the nature of bridge building itself. We conclude by exploring the implications of our findings for an understanding of the third sector generally and for the potential role of the sector in responding to our diverse society.
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Keywords: BRIDGING; COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS; ETHNIC GROUPS; FAITH GROUPS; ORGANISATIONAL CHALLENGES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 2010

More about this publication?
  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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