Empathy in the Global World: An Intercultural Perspective
Publication Year: 2010
Empathy in the Global World: An Intercultural Perspective is ideal for a wide range of courses, including Conflict/Negotiation/Mediation, Intercultural Communication, and Interpersonal Communication.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: A Global Imperative: The Unveiling of Empathy
- A World in Conflict
- Hume's Concentric Circles
- Outline of the Book
- Significance of Empathy
- The Meaning of Empathy
- Imagining the Feelings of others
- The Concept of Cultural Empathy
- The Meaning of Cultural Empathy
- Stages of Empathy
- An Attitude of Attentiveness
- Space, Place, Time, and Memory
- The Case of Yugoslavia
- Myths and Legends
- Chapter 2: The Creation of Empathy: From Ancients to Moderns
- The Four Noble Truths and Eight-Fold Path
- Alexander the Great
- Herodotus the Traveler
- Observations and Interpretations
- Customs, Geographic, and Cultural
- The Everyday and Cultural Borrowing
- Herodotus and the Language of Description
- Herodotus's Influence
- Stoics: Citizens of the World
- Stoics and the Psychology of the Soul
- Cicero on Duties and Empathy
- Empathy, Reason, and Communal Responsibility
- Four Essential Virtues
- Seneca: Cultivating Humanity
- Seneca on Anger
- Adam Smith
- Reciprocal Empathy and Pleasure
- Empathy, Property, and Principles
- John Stuart Mill
- The Public Good
- Morality and Utilitarianism
- Chapter 3: Geopolitics: The Spoils of Empathy
- Whirlwinds: 9/11, Iraq, and Al-Qaeda
- An Inattentive Gaze
- Defense Planning
- The Joining
- The Fate of Iraq
- Interventionist Measures
- L. Paul Bremer's Role and Groupthink
- A Narrower Focus
- Intensification of Inattentiveness
- Split between Fact and Value
- Democracy for Iraq
- Widening Circles
- Terrorism and Insurgency
- Trouble Sites: Israel, Iran, and Hezbollah
- Other Connections
- America's Image Abroad
- Survey Data and America's Image
- Chapter 4: Immigration: Empathy's Flickering Flames?
- The Coming: Before Global Immigration
- The Treaty of Westphalia
- Westphalia: Revolutions and Immigration
- Immigration: The Changing Environment
- Social and Legal Impact on Immigration
- Public Space and New Immigrants
- Immigration in Europe
- Empathy of Elites and Global Immigration
- Elites on College Campuses
- Hegemony and Immigration
- Three Troubling Incidents
- Amsterdam: Murder of Theo van Gogh
- Reactions to van Gogh's Murder
- Paris Burning: Rioting by Muslim Youths
- Cartoons, Prophet Mohammad, and Empathy
- Reactions to Cartoons
- A Clash of Civilizations?
- Western Culture and the Immigration Dilemma
- Lessons Learned
- Tensions, Population, and Assimilation
- Chapter 5: Crafting Images: Media and Empathy
- Framing: Imaging the Cultural other
- Crafting the Cultural other
- Media and Ideology
- Mini-Case: Ethiopia
- Media Amplification
- Amplification of Blacks
- Associative Circulations
- Inputs and Outputs
- Asymmetry of Images
- Centers and Peripheries: Attentive to Whom?
- Media Effects: Sharon Stone
- Case Study of Effects: Bono
- Covering Terrorism and Insurgencies
- Mourning and 9/11
- Chinks in Memory
- Fear-Arousing Appeals
- The Arrival of Insurgents
- Categories of Insurgents
- Framing Insurgents
- War: Iraqi Style
- Insurgents' Use of Media
- Chapter 6: Catastrophes, Tsunamis, and Katrinas
- The Moral Imperative
- Climate, Empathy, and Charity
- Huge Global Inequalities
- Age of Vulnerability
- Celebrity-Corporate Nexus Competition
- The Common-Good Angle
- The Tsunami Strikes
- In Katrina's Waters
- Structures, Roles, and Functions
- International Reactions to Katrina
- Mayor White and other Responses
- Charity vs. Justice
- Case Study 1: Africa and Justice
- Case Study 2: Good Intentions
- Case Study 3: Packets of Vestments
- Trust in the Individual
- An Empathetic Place beyond Catastrophes
- Chapter 7: “I Didn't Do it for You”: Organizations, Class, and Poverty
- Openings: Inclined to Help
- Contested Giving
- Who Gets What?
- “Progress-Prone” and “Progress-Resistant” Cultures
- NGOs, World Bank, and IMF
- Hard Empathy versus Soft Empathy
- Hard Empathy: Grameen Bank
- Sixteen Decisions of Grameen Bank
- Hard Empathy: Malawi
- Lessons from Hernando De Soto
- Cultural Interpretations of the Poor
- Domains of Grievances
- Economic Grievances
- Rights and Justice
- Biopolitical Grievances
- Governing Class: “Party of Davos”
- Makeup of the Governing Class
- NAFTA and the Global Class
- The Party of Davos
- Constraining Empathy: Behavior of Elites
- Geographic Distance: East Timor
- Structural and Social Ease: Africa
- The United Nations Millennium Project
- Chapter 8: Empathetic Literacy: Come, Shout about it?
- Breakthroughs and Empathy
- Reasons for Generosity
- “Help on Wheels”
- “Rugs to Riches: How Fair Trade Matters”
- “The Mount Kenya Academy: Strings Attached”
- A Common Empathetic Agenda
- Toward Empathetic Literacy
- Global Respect
- Knowledge Base
- Ten Basic Rules of Intercultural Relations
- Epilogue: Where Do We Go from Here?
[Page ii]For my mother and father, Idell and Alvin Calloway
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Empathy in the global world: an intercultural perspective/Carolyn Calloway-Thomas.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4129-5790-8 (cloth)
ISBN 978-1-4129-5791-5 (pbk.)
1. Cultural relations. 2. Empathy 3. Humanitarianism. 4. Intercultural communication. I. Title.
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There is an urgent need for understanding global empathy. It is the subject of this book, and it is a topic that I have thought a great deal about over the years, as I grappled with variations on a sobering question that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 6-year-old daughter raised in the 1950s when she was told that Funtown, a public amusement park in Birmingham, Alabama, was closed to “colored” children (Washington, 1991, p. 293). The question is, “Why do people treat others so mean?” I also remember very well a similar incident that happened when I was a little girl growing up in Bernice in Louisiana. As my father and I walked down the narrow main street near a drugstore—with a soda fountain—that served ice cream, I asked my father whether we could go inside for an ice cream cone. As I write these lines, it is still difficult for me to do so without tears welling up in my eyes. I watched the face of my dejected father as he uttered words that wounded my gustatory expectations and placed social consciousness on a shelf where I could reach it. “We cannot go into that store for ice cream,” said my father, “because. …”
My intellectual and affective world was framed by that painful moment, and in this book, years later, as a result of being studiously attentive to both national and international events, as a result of my intercultural experiences, and as a result of my cognitive engagement with scholarship on empathy, intercultural communication, anthropology, psychology, history, political science, religion, and other areas, I came to see the world in a whole new way. And I set out to understand more fully the role of empathy in public culture.
In 1956, in his address before the First Annual Institute on NonViolence and Social Change in Montgomery, Alabama, without ever using the term empathy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urged human beings “to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” (quoted in Washington, 1991, p. 138). And he pronounced the new world to be one of “geographical togetherness” and [Page xii]“understanding goodwill.” Employing the terms togetherness and goodwill, with implicit echoes of the humanism of his mentor, Mahatma Gandhi of India, Dr. King challenged human beings to craft a compelling vision of a beloved community by defining the basis upon which the communication or sharing of ideas and feelings can proceed.
But it is one thing to identify a set of values out of the shared common ground language of a community; it is something else altogether to vivify a world to the point of comprehending and elevating empathy. A half century later, King's philosophical notions that interplays between goodwill, other-regarding behaviors, and a sustainable life can make a huge difference still resonate. This book is animated by a belief that our significance as human beings stems in a very large measure from how much goodwill we inject into the troubled world of globalization.
The vexing issues explored in this book are at the center of some of the most salient aspects of globalization today, and they play a commanding role in arguing one type of community into existence (one based on inclusivity, peace, respect, and universal human values) as opposed to arguing another kind of community into existence (one based on turmoil, meanness, wretchedness, genocide, and heaps of trouble). The challenge of empathy is the great challenge of our time.
Although the last chapter in this book articulates an agenda for change that reflects a common ground approach to understanding and “doing” empathy, I am mindful of the nexus that exists between points of reality and an unrealizable utopian dream. I believe, however, that the last chapter sets forth a realistic agenda for empathetic fluency that contains seeds for deepening intercultural relationships among human beings around the world.
During my travels, I have encountered so many people—children at play, tour guides, bus drivers, store clerks, professors, farmers, villagers, townspeople, city dwellers, the downtrodden, haves and have-nots—and all have reinforced my view that human beings worldwide share both the burdens and consequences of empathy or its absence. For this reason, this book is written not only for undergraduate and graduate students but also for general readers who wish to add more light than shadows to the world.
On June 5, 2009, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, who was imprisoned at Buchenwald concentration camp as a 16-year-old boy, toured the site with President Barack Obama during the latter's trip to Germany. While standing upon the ground where much misery had occurred during World War II, Wiesel raised a question of piercing proportions, and it also has a special bearing on the subject of this book.
In commenting on the barbarism resident at Buchenwald and in reflecting on other terrible and evil acts that are “meant to diminish the humanity [Page xiii]of human beings,” from Cambodia to Bosnia, Nobelist Wiesel asked, “Will the world ever learn?” (“Obama, Elie Wiesel,” 2009, p. 4). One strong, resonant reply to his question is that an understanding of empathy is sorely needed if we are to turn the world toward a more humane bent and away from global unrest and cruelty. I wrote the last sentence with a full and thoughtful knowledge of the multifaceted, weighty dimensions of human empathy. But we human beings must, in the words of Wiesel, “stop hating the otherness of the other” and “respect it” (“Obama, Elie Wiesel,” 2009, p.4). If we do not follow the way of empathy, then what and who will save us?Acknowledgments
I am most grateful to my wonderful husband Jack E. Thomas, who, over the years, through his invaluable commentary—both spoken and written—helped me to dissect the workings of empathy. But the charitable record would not be complete without acknowledging my sacrificing, devoted parents, nine sweet siblings, and the caring citizens of Bernice, Louisiana, who taught me to wonder more deeply about the relationship that obtains between empathy and the “other.”
In countless ways, as a result of my experiences with so many friends and colleagues worldwide, I am the fortunate beneficiary of their kindnesses and insights that helped to bring this book into being.
My former students have taught me so much about what is good and rich in the world, and I thank them for this gift. I also especially thank the following reviewers for their generous time and comments on this work: Molefi Kete Asante (Department of African American Studies, Temple University), Deborah F. Atwater (Associate Professor Emerita of Communication Arts and Sciences and African and African American Studies, The Pennsylvania State University), Benjamin J. Broome (Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University), Alexia Georgakopoulos (Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Nova Southeastern University), Robert Hariman (Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University), Fred E. Jandt (Department of Communication Studies, California State University, San Bernardino), Mark A. Pollock (Department of Communication Studies, Loyola University Chicago), Mark V. Redmond (Department of Communication Studies/English, Iowa State University), and Therese Saint Paul (Department of Modern Languages, Murray State University).
Finally, I am deeply indebted to the editors at SAGE and Todd Armstrong for believing in this project.Bloomington, Indiana, [Page xiv]
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About the Author[Page 249]
Carolyn Calloway-Thomas is an Associate Professor and Director of the Preparing Future Faculty program in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University. She is coauthor of Intercultural Communication: A Text With Readings (2007) and Intercultural Communication: Roots and Routes (1999), as well as coeditor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Sermonic Power of Public Discourse (1993). Her teaching and research areas are intercultural communication, public dialogue in America, civic engagement, pedagogy, and communication in Black America. In 2007, Professor Calloway-Thomas was invited to participate in the Oxford Round Table conference on diversity and public policy at Oxford University in England. Her national awards include a Ford Postdoctoral fellowship; a Fulbright scholarship to Nigeria, West Africa; a Carnegie scholarship; the National Communication Association's Robert J. Kibler award; and the Distinguished Alumni award from Grambling State University. She holds a BS degree from Grambling College, an MA degree from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD degree from Indiana University.