Date of Award

5-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Abstract

American society reveres values of capitalism, stressing the importance of competition and individualism. However, these values directly conflict with the basic human need for community and interaction with others. The consequence of this clash is often loneliness, a phenomenon experienced by most of the American population, which can be detrimental to both one's physical and mental health. Time banks have been growing in popularity in the United States throughout the past twenty years. These organizations offer members an opportunity to provide and receive services without any monetary exchange. These participants constitute the individual pieces of an expanding social network, not only fostering volunteerism, but community as well. This research examines the population of Community Exchange, the time bank of the Lehigh Valley, and the effect involvement has on members. A survey including questions on demographic information and a standardized measure of loneliness (UCLA 20 item loneliness scale) assessed the impact of participation in the time bank on members' loneliness.

Comments

Senior Thesis

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