Posted by: lindabundy | March 25, 2010

Final Project Proposal

Through my final project, I hope to understand how the hacker ethic affects passions outside the realm of work for which we are formally compensated. I want to understand the motivation for volunteering in light of Protestantism and the Protestant work ethic. I am curious to find out if the teachings of Christ are the guiding forces in the so-termed Protestant work ethic. To do this, I plan to interview key individuals and compile my research in a paper. For key individuals, I am interested in interviewing Poppy Goforth (director of community service at Bucknell), some local Protestant clergy members (Rev. Gregory Davidson and Rev. David Bomboy), and at least one local United Way representative (Judy Mickanis). I hope to have my interview questions solidified by April 1st. By April 16th  I hope to have all four of my interviews completed. By April 20th, I would like to have a rough draft of my paper completed. By April 30th, I plan to have the project completed, including revisions, and product(s) ready for presentation. By May 9th I will post my final reflection on the blog spot.

For this project, I am planning on using the “Hacker Ethic” text (by Himanen), interviews, and other sources I find along the way. I bring to this project a knowledge of volunteering (and various for profit and non-profit organizations that emphasize volunteer work) and a working knowledge of Protestantism. I am also relying on the “Presentation Zen” text book for some guidance in approaching and creatively approaching this topic.

I’m thinking of titling my project “Don’t volunteer: Drive away the dutiful, attract the passionate.” I feel engagement of subject matter, organization, and creativity of thought process my be relevant criteria for evaluation of my project.



  1. A more descriptive title would help!

  2. I don’t understand how you see the PWE related to motivation to volunteer. If you want to go so deeply into the PWE, you might want to look at the original essay by Weber.

    What do you want to do with Christian teachings? You want to see if they actually support the protestant work ethic?

    What is the problem you are interested in? Can your project be understood as a solution? For who? How so?

  3. Are you looking to see if people are passionate about volunteering or are they just volunteering for the hell of it? If that is what you are getting at I would interview some people from fraternities or sororities who have to volunteer their time for the P for P. I think that it is important to find the motives of volunteers and see if they truly have a passion for what they are doing. I am not really sure exactly how it ties into the PWE, however, because does the PWE relate to volunteer work?

  4. Is volunteer work something you have always been passionate about? If so, I think you could take this project in two useful directions. First you could try to determine what makes people passionate about service and could then determine what makes you passionate about it. An examination of these concepts could lead you to learn more about the origins of your passion and could potentially teach you how to motivate others to volunteer more.

  5. I think an interesting thing you could touch on is how our relatively new Web 2.0 based technology has opened the door to more volunteer opportunities. Looking back during my middle school years, the only volunteering I could find was through my teachers. Now, I can go online and within 5 minutes find up to 20 opportunities within a couple miles.

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