2012 | 153 | 169-184
Article title

Motywy i uwarunkowania ludzkiej solidarności – poszukiwania teoretyczne

Title variants
Motives and Conditions of Human Solidarity
Languages of publication
The article is a discussion of various, mainly sociological conceptions of human solidarity, with special focus on those that question the traditional dichotomous understanding of the motives underlying pro-social behavior. It also constitutes an attempt to broaden the debate by focusing on the conditions of human benevolence. Most up-to-date (social) research points to the crucial role of social distance: the closer the potential benefactor to the potential beneficiary, the more likely the act of helping; the more unconditional (or altruistic) the help offered, the more generous the offering. Here a question arises as to what determines the social distance between individuals (and groups) and how (group) boundaries are formed or defined. While social distance can be conceived in objective terms, e.g. as physical or geographical distance or as a degree of (e.g. socio-economic) dissimilarity that exists between the benefactor and the beneficiary, it is the subjective social distance that seems to have most bearing on the human motivation to help. Of paramount importance here, is the perception of the beneficiary, and in particular, the construction of their otherness, which might be (partly) determined by (a) dominant social norm(s).
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