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    ‘The deserving’: Moral reasoning and ideological dilemmas in public responses to humanitarian communications

    Seu, Irene Bruna (2016) ‘The deserving’: Moral reasoning and ideological dilemmas in public responses to humanitarian communications. British Journal of Social Psychology 55 (4), pp. 739-755. ISSN 0144-6665.

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates everyday moral reasoning in relation to donations and prosocial behaviour in a humanitarian context. The discursive analysis focuses on the principles of deservingness which members of the public use to decide who to help and under what conditions. The paper discusses three repertoires of deservingness: 'Seeing a difference', 'Waiting in queues' and 'Something for nothing ' to illustrate participants' dilemmatic reasoning and to examine how the position of 'being deserving' is negotiated in humanitarian crises. Discursive analyses of these dilemmatic repertoires of deservingness identify the cultural and ideological resources behind these constructions and show how humanitarianism intersects and clashes with other ideologies and value systems. The data suggest that a neoliberal ideology, which endorses self-gratification and materialistic and individualistic ethics, and cultural assimilation of helper and receiver play important roles in decisions about humanitarian helping. The paper argues for the need for psychological research to engage more actively with the dilemmas involved in the moral reasoning related to humanitarianism and to contextualize decisions about giving and helping within the socio-cultural and ideological landscape in which the helper operates.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): deservingness, prosocial behaviour, humanitarianism, ideological dilemmas, helping, discursive analysis, repertoires, discourse
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
    Research Centre: Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE), Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Bruna Seu
    Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2016 09:50
    Last Modified: 03 Aug 2019 00:18
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/15778

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