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American GenerosityWho Gives and Why$
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Patricia Snell Herzog and Heather Price

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456498.001.0001

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Personal and Social Orientations to Giving

Personal and Social Orientations to Giving

A Social Psychological Approach

(p.159) 4 Personal and Social Orientations to Giving
American Generosity

Patricia Snell Herzog

Heather Price

Oxford University Press

In Chapter 4 social psychological approaches to investigating the why question of American generosity are explored. Theoretical background consists of Mead-inspired symbolic interactionism, Cooley-inspired “looking glass self,” theories of action, Durkheim-inspired social solidarity, Marx-inspired collective consciousness, and Weber-inspired social responsibility and materialism. The chapter begins with an identification of key social psychological factors and their variation in giving outcomes and concludes with attention to varying levels of generous self-identity. The analyses of chapters 1, 2, and 3 are investigated in tandem with social psychological factors, illuminating the importance of personal and social orientations in explaining why Americans differ in their approaches to generous activities. Case studies provide extensive narrative explanations of the ways orientations to giving shape giving practices.

Keywords:   social psychology, social solidarity, collective consciousness, social responsibility, George Herbert Mead, Charles Cooley, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber

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