Growing Civil Society

Growing Civil Society : From Nonprofit Sector to Third Space

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Growing Civil Society investigates the role of voluntary action and nonprofit organization in contemporary America. Key to the book is the concept of "third space," which provides an important tool for the construction of civil society. The third space is not independent from society's major institutions, but exists in dynamic interdependence with them, linking individuals in their home bases of family and community to the larger governmental and economic structures within which all citizens, workers, and consumers learn to find their way in modern society.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 8 figures
  • 0253220475
  • 9780253220479
  • 2,122,186

Review quote

This book investigates the role of voluntary action and nonprofit organization in contemporary America. It notes that society contains four sectors - governmental, market, family and nonproft - and argues that the concept of a 'third space' is a more useful way of conceptualizing the area of society that is occupied by nonprofits as well as many individuals and organizations that come together to work for the common good. Van Til is a respected commentator on nonprofit and philanthropic issues and he notes in the preface to this paperback edition that this book has been ten years in gestation. He offers a rounded review of third sector activity, including successes and limitations. But ultimately the author is a champion of his focus of study, arguing that the third space is crucial because it has the potential to be a wellspring for rebuilding a troubled society in an age of rapid change and turbulence.Beth Breeze, Publications Editor, Philanthropy UK Nwsltr, Dec. 2008, Issue 35 "Creatively reframing now-familiar concepts of civil society, third sector, and social capital, Van Til builds a compelling argument for a 'third space,' where individuals and organizations come together to reflect and act to create the community and society they need." -Susan Ostrander, Tufts University "Van Til's book is a valuable and refreshing contribution to the increasingly important question of how, and in what ways, the non-market, non-governmental associations of civil society contribute to social goods and goals." -Mark Warren, Georgetown University
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About Jon Van Til

Jon Van Til is Professor of Urban Studies and Community Planning at Rutgers University, Camden. His books include Critical Issues in American Philanthropy: Strengthening Theory and Practice and Mapping the Third Sector: Voluntarism in a Changing Social Economy.
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Table of contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition
Introduction: Third Sector, Third Space
Part One: The Uses of the Third Sector
1. Building Blocks for the Third Sector
2. Mapping the Boundaries
Part Two: On the Boundary between Government and the Third Sector
3. The Third Sector as a Political Force
4. National Service in Theory and in Practice
5. The Emerging Field of Nonprofit Policy Study
Part Three: On the Boundary between Business and the Third Sector
6. Making Money, Wielding Power, and Other Temptations of Nonprofit Life
7. The Art and Business of Nonprofit Organization Management
8. When the Business of Nonprofits Is Increasingly Business
Part Four: On the Boundary between Culture and the Third Space
9. Civil Education: Moving to Define an Ambiguous Tradition
10. On the Contemporary Hope for Faith and Charity
11. Social Entrepreneurship and the End of Work
Part Five: Searching for Meaning and Justice
12. Commission Reports on the Third Sector
13. Civil Society and the Escape from Madness
Part Six: A Third Space
14. Beyond the Myths of Sector
15. Growing Civil Society, Using the Third Space
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