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-  2019 

Do Unto Others? Individual

DOI: 10.1177/0002764218823851

Keywords: political altruism,social proximity,group attachment,resources,solidarity

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Starting from a definition of altruism as situations in which a given actor sustains harm while another actor gains benefits, we compare the behaviors of respondents in relation to the members of three main groups of beneficiaries—refugees and asylum seekers, unemployed people, and people with disabilities—through the analysis of original survey data collected in eight European countries (N ~ 16,000) in the TransSOL project. We investigate in particular the reasons why people act on behalf of each of these three groups without being a member of any of them or having close ties with any individuals in these groups. These respondents are compared with respondents who are members of these groups and/or have close ties with people within them so as to isolate the factors underlying individual-level altruistic behavior. Our results show that political altruism emerges out of a complex combination of factors and is not simply reducible to social structural positions, subjective feelings of attachment or resources, but is the result of the interaction of these influences and that these vary when looking at support for different social groups


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