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‘Below the radar’ activities and organisations in the third sector: a summary review of the literature

By Angus McCabe, Jenny Phillimore and Lucy Mayblin


The term ‘below, or under, the radar’ has become a short-hand term often applied to describe small voluntary organisations, community groups and more informal or semi-formal activities in the third sector. This paper presents the findings of a literature review which explores understandings of the term ‘below the radar’ and its usefulness in thinking about community based organisations and activities. The paper also uses the literature to explore the nature, role, and focus of small scale organisations and activities, as well as the challenges they face. It draws on a wide range of materials and an academic literature which has tended to focus on either concepts of ‘organisation’ rather than more informal community activity, or particular ‘sub-sections’ of the third sector; Black and Minority Ethnic groups, Refugee and Migrant Organisations, arts and cultural groups; rather than the small scale sector as whole. Finally, it identifies gaps in the current literature and contentious questions relating to our knowledge of ‘below the radar’ community groups and activities

Topics: H Social Sciences (General), HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Publisher: University of Birmingham
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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