This article seeks to understand two puzzling findings from a comparative study of volunteer care work: that volunteers in Denmark are perceived to be cost-adding, while volunteers in Australia are perceived to be cost-saving; and that volunteers in Australia are perceived to be better than paid workers, while volunteers in Denmark are considered second-best to paid workers. Using a 'cultures of care' framework, this article explores whether these articulations reflect on culturally determined care ideals. The findings suggest that different cultures of care exist. Differences are explained by the development of the two welfare states.
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