Verbum Incarnatum: An Academic Journal of Social Justice


This paper examines the way Lutheran Volunteer Corps participants actively use culture to form understandings of service and justice. Using data from in-depth, qualitative interviews with ten volunteers, this paper argues that though almost all of the types of positions the volunteers hold are fields that are historically “women’s work,” the way volunteers make sense of their work extends beyond reification of gender norms. Using the theory of cultural repertoires of Ann Swidler, this paper shows how volunteers actively draw on available elements of the cultures that surround them to create understandings of “service” and “justice” that are simultaneously bounded by constructions of gender, race, and class as well fluid and flexible.