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Empathy in the Global World

Empathy in the Global World
An Intercultural Perspective

First Edition

December 2009 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Evidence of violence and hatred worldwide - from the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to the war in Iraq to the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah - call special attention to the critical importance of empathy in human affairs. Only when we begin to understand more fully the workings of empathy do we begin to be able to make sense of what happens to humans on a global scale. In Empathy in a Global World, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas examines the nature and zones of empathy, exploring how an understanding of empathy shapes global talk and action.

This text presents the foundations of empathy, the historical beginnings of empathy, and the global practices of empathy, all with an eye toward understanding how and why this important concept matters. This book explores how empathetic literacy is crucial in addressing intercultural issues; how it is needed in decision making; how it is communicated via the media; and how it affects global issues such as poverty and environmental diasters.

Second, the book goes beyond existing knowledge on empathy and extends into the realms of media, global class issues, the world of NGOs, and natural disasters. As such, the book takes readers on a tour of empathyÆs nature, uses, practices and potentials in this manner. In this regard, the proposed book breaks new and compelling ground.Third, in its scope, the book exploits the disciplines of communication, black studies, education, history, cultural studies, media, philanthropy, psychology, religious studies, and sociology to bring fresh insights into the discourse, dynamics, patterns, and practices of empathy.

1. A Global Imperative: The Unveiling of Empathy
2. The Creation of Empathy: From Ancients to Moderns
3. Geopolitics: The Spoils of Empathy
4. Immigration: Empathy’s Flickering Flames?
5. Crafting Images: Media and Empathy
6. Catastrophes, Tsunamis, and Katrinas
7. “I Didn’t Do It for You:” Organizations, Class, and Poverty
8. Empathetic Literacy: Come, Shout About It?

The idea of 'empathy' is too often lost amidst the psychological concepts of altruism, the sociological concept of 'philanthropy' or the social norm of 'kindness'. Empathy is useful for understanding all of the above, but it also sits apart from them as a unique human response that is often visceral and painful. When Galloway-Thomas describes the associative nature of empathy in relation to racism, natural disasters, class, and, in particular, governmental response, she encourages the reader to step outside of their own characteristics (or take off our 'invisible knapsack' of privileges as Peggy McIntosh describes it) and assess how certain narratives of the lives of certain groups of people are simple 'absent' from general discussion, ignored in the media or downplayed.

This book is especially useful for teaching as it provides at the end an agenda or 'set of rules' for empathetic behaviour that are useful to critique in a classroom setting.

Dr Triona Fitton
Social Policy , Sociology & Social Rsch, University of Kent
December 10, 2015

Good supplementary reading for students in the class.

February 24, 2011

Excellent for understanding celebrity, emotion affect and non profit aspects of media

Dr Joanne Garde-Hansen
Communications and Media Production, University of Gloucestershire
September 14, 2010

Really interesting; gives an alternative perspective which is informal and pleasant. A new, current and relevant light on the topic.

Miss Kate Steabler
HE Care, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
March 19, 2010

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