Empathy in the Global World
An Intercultural Perspective
- Carolyn Calloway-Thomas - Indiana University, USA
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.
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.
Good supplementary reading for students in the class.
Excellent for understanding celebrity, emotion affect and non profit aspects of media
Really interesting; gives an alternative perspective which is informal and pleasant. A new, current and relevant light on the topic.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Ch 1. A Global Imperative: The Unveiling of Empathy
Ch 4. Immigration: Empathy’s Flickering Flames?