The social nature of being human
The social nature of being human

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The social nature of being human

3.4 Charitable giving: some concluding thoughts

In this last section, the social social sciences or social psychology featured less obviously than in the previous two. Yet, as this course has tried to show, while on the surface involving private thoughts and an intimate act, charitable giving is in a sense a very public act whose (personal and public) meaning derives from the web of meaning surrounding it. This meaning is deliberated, contested, constructed, argued for an against by many agents in the social sphere. (One example for this in the section was the quote from the charity campaign.)

These acts of deliberations and arguments, of course, bring many different implications with them: the meaning of the act will be altered radically depending on which perspective lends meaning to it. In a way, they will therefore constitute your private experience in many different ways. What is important, however, is that regardless of which direction these webs of meanings take, regardless of what values they seek to generate, they exemplify the notion that the social is always and inevitably present: not just in the obvious cases of crowds, groups and publics as explored in the first two sections – but also in supposedly private thoughts and gestures.


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