As the frequent use of metaphors like friendship or relationship in academic and colloquial discourse on serial television suggests, long-term narratives seem to add something to the spectator's engagement with fictional characters that is not fully captured by terms such as empathy and sympathy. Drawing on philosophical accounts of friendship and psychological theories on the formation of close relationships, this article clarifies in what respect the friendship metaphor is warranted. The article proposes several hypotheses that will enhance cognitive theories of character engagement. Spectators tend to like what they have been exposed to more, and the feeling of familiarity is pleasurable. Familiar characters are powerful tools to get the spectator hooked. Furthermore, by generating an impression of a shared history, television series activate mental mechanisms similar to those activated by friendship in real life. These factors, and several others, create a bond with characters in television series that tends to be described in everyday language as a sort of friendship.
Robert Blanchet and Margrethe Bruun Vaage
This article raises the question to what extent ludic forms affect the audience's engagement with characters. By introducing the analytic method of morphologic observation, the interrelation between ludic forms and narrative context becomes the main focus. Moreover, this allows a closer look at the filmic characters that are also affected by the integration of ludic forms. By exploring films that deal with the death of a main character and would usually call for tragic effects, the article shows how ludic forms partially inhibit the typical engagement with characters. Other forms of blocking empathy are discussed and the article closes with some thoughts on the consequences of ludic films on reception and pedagogic or therapeutic potential.
Cosmopolitanism has become a rediscovered conceptual frontier within the social sciences. It has emerged in the space for relational thinking about contemporary movements of people and ideas beyond old societal boundaries, as an alternative to the homogenizing implications carried by globalization. It forefronts new cross-territorial contexts of encounter attending to samenesses and differences among people, places, and the nonhuman, presenting new kinds of translocal issues for anthropologists of the environment. While cosmopolitanism draws historically on aspects of Enlightenment universalist rationalism, current applications of the term forefront an empathy and respect for other people’s cultures and values. This is frequently drawn into a distinction between “normative” and “cultural” cosmopolitanisms. The first Kantian sense involves a context-transcendent level of ethical principles with general validity, while the second is about taking cognizance of difference and invokes some positive tolerance of multiplicity and appreciation of others. In both cases there is a sense of a projected “ethical horizon” (Werbner 2008).
Divergent Perceptions of Illnesses and Their Symptoms
Mohamed Harakati, Faissal Shaheen, Hani Tamim, Saadi Taher, Adel Al. Qublan and Abdulla Al Sayyari
This cross-sectional survey study analyses the degree of concordance between Saudi patients and their nurses and physicians in four areas: (1) perceived causation of diseases and drivers of cure, (2) symptom ranking and perception, (3) views on social habits and traditional medicine, and (4) assessment of health care providers' empathy. The doctors and nurses were asked to predict their patients' responses to the survey. Significant divergence was found between the patients' responses and the health care providers' predictions. Cultural and background differences between the two groups, as well as a large educational gap, might account for this disparity. Such discordance could conceivably lead to wrong diagnoses being made, due to the different levels of importance that patients and doctors accord to symptoms.
It has become a commonplace that the audience of a film is active. What sort of activity is involved when the audience is from one culture—say, Germany—and the film is from another culture—say, India? This article examines the processes involved in such cross-cultural film reception. It focuses on two aspects that are often regarded as problematic for the enjoyment of a film in terms of understanding and emotional response. The first is an obviously characteristic feature of Hindi cinema, namely the song and dance sequences. The second is perhaps less obvious, but no less characteristic—intertextuality and self-referential humor. The example explored in the article—Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om—displays a multitude of ironic allusions to the history of the Indian film industry and other culturally specific elements, which present a special challenge to uninformed audiences. In this context the article concentrates on a segment of active viewers that has at least some degree of familiarity with, but, more important, expresses a definite interest in Hindi cinema: Western (non-Indian) fans. The article argues that it is a misconception to regard cultural particularity as essentially problematic. On the contrary, elements that initially seem to present a hindrance might actually facilitate the development of empathy and identification. The point is perhaps particularly true in the social context of fan (culture) reception and offers some explanation for the films' cross-cultural appeal.
Sergio Catignani, Israeli Counter-Insurgency and the Intifadas Review by Avi Kober
Majid Al-Haj and Rosemarie Mielke, eds., Cultural Diversity and the Empowerment of Minorities: Perspectives from Israel & Germany Review by Nicole Dehan
Jonathan B. Isacoff, Writing the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Pragmatism and Historical Inquiry Review by Motti Golani
Meir Litvak and Esther Webman, From Empathy to Denial, Arab Responses to the Holocaust Review by Shlomo Aronson
Kobi Michael, Between Militarism and Statesmanship in Israel: Military Influence on the Transition Process from War to Peace Review by Eyal Ben-Ari
Rory Miller, ed., Ireland and the Middle East: Trade, Society and Peace Review by Jeffrey K. Sosland
Benny Morris, ed., Making Israel Review by Neil Caplan
Roby Nathanson and Stephen Stetter, eds., The Middle East under Fire? EU-Israel Relations in a Region Between War and Conflict Resolution Review by Tamir Libel
Benjamin Orbach, Live from Jordan: Letters Home from My Journey through the Middle East Review by Chaim Noy
Dina Porat, Israeli Society, the Holocaust and Its Survivors Roni Stauber, The Holocaust in Israeli Public Debate in the 1950s Reviews by Esther Jilovsky
Zohar Segev, From Ethnic Politicians to National Leaders—American Zionist Leadership, the Holocaust and the Establishment of Israel Review by Ariel Feldestein
Sandy Sufian and Mark LeVine, eds., Reapproaching Borders: New Perspectives on the Study of Israel-Palestine Review by Itamar Radai
Shifra Shvarts, Health and Zionism: Th e Israeli Health Care System, 1948–1960 Review by Judith T. Shuval
Julia Hanebrink, David Lempert, Angela Kelly, Roaxana Morosanu and Peter Snowdon
Displacing Human Rights: War and Intervention in Northern Uganda. Adam Branch, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, ISBN: 978-019978-208-6, 336 pp., Hb. £45.00, $74.00.
Performing Heritage: Art of Exhibit Walks. Navina Jafa, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2012, ISBN: 978-81-321-0699-9, xxviii + 216 pp., Pb. $32.95.
Ancient Khmer Sites in Eastern Thailand. Asger Mollerup, Bangkok: White Lotus, 2012, ISBN: 978-974-480-181-4, xii + 185 pp. and C.D., Pb. $32.00.
The Anthropology of Empathy: Experiencing the Lives of Others in Pacific Societies. Douglas W. Hollan and C. Jason Throop (eds.), Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books (ASAO studies in Pacific Anthropology Volume 1), 2011, ISBN: 978-0-85745-102-6, 233 pp., Hb. £45.00.
Ethical Consumption: Social Value and Economic Practice. James G. Carrier and Peter G. Luetchford (eds.), New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-85745-342-6, 246pp. Hb. £48.00.
Tales from Facebook Daniel Miller, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-7456-5209-2, 220 pp., Hb. £50.00, Pb. £14.99.
The Emergence of Modern Women's Poetry in Yiddish and Rokhl Korn's Poetic Debut
The 1920s saw the debut of a considerable number of female poets writing in Yiddish in Europe and the United States of America. This article briefly considers the emergence of modern Yiddish women's poetry, and the importance of Ezra Korman's Yidishe dikhterins, an anthology of their work published in Chicago in 1928, before turning to one of the poets represented there, Rokhl H. Korn. The article considers her unusual family background and upbringing on a farm in rural Poland, which fostered the development of her poetic talent. Through analysis of several significant poems, the character of her early work is revealed: a combination of deep empathy with the natural world, free expression of female sexuality, and a sensitive evocation of the lives and emotions of the people of her childhood village, both Poles and Jews. Her later poetry incorporates the Holocaust and the pain of exile, but the more controlled work of her maturity is rooted in the rich and passionate poetry of her youth. One of the leading female Yiddish lyric poets of the 20th century, Korn exemplifies the freedom to express individual creativity and female sensibility which women writers in Yiddish discovered in the inter-war years.
Klaus Oschema, Mette Thunø, Evan Kuehn and Blake Ewing
enthuse other scholars to continue exploring how the usage of one of the most emblematic words of globalization shapes the world that we are trying to understand today. Closing the Empathy Deficit in Philosophy and History Derek Matravers, Empathy
investigation of aesthetic experience. Smith demonstrates the effectiveness of triangulation for understanding the case of anomalous suspense and the relationship between affective mimicry and imaginative empathy. Chapter 3 develops the model of triangulation by