Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Congemporary Ethnography

Publisher

Sage Publications

Publication Date

2-2009

First Page

85

Last Page

116

Issue Number

1

Volume Number

38

Abstract/ Summary

Activists and volunteers in the United States face the dilemma of having to negotiate the ideals of American individualism with their own acts of compassion. In this article, I consider how activists and volunteers socially construct compassion. Data from ethnographic research in the breast cancer and antirape movements are analyzed. The processes through which compassion is constructed are revealed in participants’ actions and in their identities. It is through their actions (or “doing good”) and their perceptions and presentations of themselves (“being good”) that participants construct compassion as a gendered phenomenon. Together, the processes of doing good and being good raise questions about the extent to which participants’ acts of compassion are or can be transformative in a way that promotes the social change which activists and volunteers seek.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

(c) Sage Publications. Link to original article: http://jce.sagepub.com.prxy4.ursus.maine.edu/content/38/1/85.abstract

DOI

10.1177/0891241607310864

Version

post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)