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ERIC Number: EJ876453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1232
Altruism and Social Solidarity: Envisioning a Field of Specialization
Jeffries, Vincent; Johnston, Barry V.; Nichols, Lawrence T.; Oliner, Samuel P.; Tiryakian, Edward; Weinstein, Jay
American Sociologist, v37 n3 p67-83 Sep 2006
This article has presented a vision of what a field of altruism and social solidarity could potentially involve. An additional perspective on the nature of this field and how it could contribute to the discipline and to society is provided by the science of psychology. In the last decade a fundamental new orientation has developed in this discipline, growing from the pioneering work of Martin E.P. Seligman. Generally identified as "positive psychology" it represents a shift from a focus on trying to understand and find solutions to mental illness and various pathologies of thought and behavior in a "disease model" to a focus on human strengths, virtues, and other positive characteristics. This shift in focus is regarded as making a direct contribution to understanding what is best in human emotions and traits and how society can support the psychological flourishing of individuals. This new perspective in turn provides increased awareness of how the problems studied in the disease model can more effectively be prevented (Seligman, 2003, 2005). The importance of this focus on the positive for sociology and a call to action is stated by Seligman (2003): The third pillar of positive psychology is the study of positive institutions and positive communities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A