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Psychology - Community Psychology | Altruism in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Reviews)

Altruism in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Vakoch, Douglas (Ed.)

2013, XVI, 180 p. 6 illus.

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"Based on a symposium on the same theme held in connection with the 34th Annual Conference of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research, February 23–27, 2005, at Santa Fe, NM, and convened by the volume’s editor, the book contains contributions by 21 authors of different nationalities in 13 chapters, 7 of which are based on papers originally presented at this conference. While a “Foreword” by senior cross-cultural psychologist Harry C. Triandis (vii–xi) aptly leads into the subject matter, the “Afterword” (chapter 13, pp. 159–63), by Steven G. Post and Matthew T. Lee, concludes that “other-regarding behaviors are without exception endorsed in all major world religions and in the world cultures that have grown up around them” (p. 159) which allows us to assume that altruism is “a universal value” indeed (p. 163). (Post is a physician and Lee a sociologist, and both are engaged in the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, Stony Brook, NY.)...Short biographical notes about the contributors (pp. 165–71) and the editor (p. 173) as well as a general index (pp. 175–80) conclude this book, which is a high-quality tool for cross-cultural studies of altruism and beyond."
Christopher H. Grundmann
Zygon, vol. 49, no. 1, March 2014

"Altruism in Cross-Cultural Perspective provides a multidisciplinary effort to examine human altruism cross-culturally. The authors of the 11 chapters plus epilogue and afterword come from a variety of disciplines: Psychology and anthropology are well represented, with additional contributions from social work, philosophy, theology, and education. Other chapter authors come from communication, folklore studies, English literature, public health, recreation and tourism, and ecology and environmental sciences. The multidisciplinary breadth of this volume results from its origination as a symposium conducted at the 34th Annual Conference of the Society for Cross Cultural Research convened in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in February 2005. The pioneering work of Daniel Batson on altruism provides a foundation for the book and a common thread running through many of the chapters (Batson, 2011, 2012)...This book should be of interest to both students and professionals concerned with gaining a broader understanding of altruism in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary perspectives. As noted above, it builds on the pioneering work of Batson and complements other recent work on altruism (Knafo & Israel, 2012; Midlarsky, Mullin, & Barkin, 2012; Penner, Dovidio, Piliavin, & Schroeder, 2005; Snyder & Dwyer, 2013)."
John M. Davis
April 28, 2014, Vol. 59, No. 17, Article 8



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