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Teaching globalisation in the social sciences

the effectiveness of a refugee simulation

Stacy Keogh George

This article describes the incorporation of a refugee simulation into an upper-division sociology course on globalisation at a liberal arts institution in the United States. The simulation is designed to inform students of the refugee process in the United States by inviting participants to immerse themselves in refugee experiences by adopting identities of actual refugee families as they complete four stages of the refugee application process. Student reactions to the refugee simulation suggest that it is an effective tool for demonstrating the complexities of the refugee experience in the United States and for evoking social empathy.

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Sarah Kozloff

This article seeks to prompt a reevaluation of the efficacy of mainstream fiction films to convey liberalism's political and ethical values. First, it challenges still-influential Marxist claims about counter-cinema and distanciation, then it deplores the influence of contemporary irony and postmodernism. The article proceeds to enumerate the characteristics of “a cinema of engagement”; for example, moving us to empathy—even empathetic anger—rather than distancing us or making us feel superiority; manifesting a level gaze; analyzing structures of power; basing scripts on real events; employing both the realist and melodramatic modes; and inspiring viewers to work against social injustice. It invokes the theories of liberal philosophers, literary scholars, cognitive scientists, and psychologists, and draws supporting evidence from a close reading of The Insider (1999).

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The "Moving" Image

Empathy and Projection in the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool

Silke Arnold-de Simine

The moving image has become ubiquitous in museums that deal with traumatic, violent, and difficult histories and could be described as "memorial museums." This article investigates exhibition practices in the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, in which large-scale video installations provide evocative recreations of traumatic experiences that are designed to unsettle and disturb visitors, providing them with a visceral and vicarious experience that calls for witnessing and "empathic unsettlement." It also queries the assumption that the capacity for empathy forms the basis for responsible moral agency, and whether museums aiming to encourage social responsibility should rely on such technologies.

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Ta' Pinu

Ritualised Empathy on the Doorstep of Heaven

Philip Kao

This article explores the miracles and ex-votos (votive offerings) associated with the Ta' Pinu shrine on Gozo, Malta's northernmost island. Drawing from ethnographic data, analysis of various personal accounts, and observations of people's interactions with the bricolage of Ta' Pinu ex-votos, I seek to show that Gozitans perform a highly personal yet ritualised form of empathy in the context of miracle worship. The miracles associated with Ta' Pinu are thus seemingly 'contagious' and meaningful, because they elicit existential connections and reflections on the nature of supplication and Gozitan social relations.

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Saudi Patients and Health Care Providers

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.

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Ben Campbell

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).

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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.

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Hannah Birr

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.

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Portrait

Eileen Baker

Linda Woodhead, James T. Richardson, Martyn Percy, Catherine Wessinger and Eileen Barker

on while doing fieldwork. On the one hand, she needs some kind of empathic understanding ( Verstehen ) if she is hoping to interpret the actions of individuals who find themselves in various social situations; on the other hand, although the concept

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Jack Hunter, Annelin Eriksen, Jon Mitchell, Mattijs van de Port, Magnus Course, Nicolás Panotto, Ruth Barcan, David M. R. Orr, Girish Daswani, Piergiorgio Di Giminiani, Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Sofía Ugarte, Ryan J. Cook, Bettina E. Schmidt and Mylene Mizrahi

a political agenda of eradication and emphasizes the corrosive and anti-social effects of religion. Luehrmann uses this to forge a critique of the current trend for ethnographic empathy in studies of religion. Important insights might just as readily