The literatures on the ways in which social identity and social position (e.g., gender, class, race) inform altruism have developed orthogonally. In this community-based qualitative study we use intersectionality theory to explore the complex ways in which social identity and social structures jointly influence altruism among African American adults (n = 40) in an urban, economically distressed housing community in New York City. Content analysis of participants’ narratives reveals the ways in which gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, and urbanicity work in tandem to create differential patterns of vulnerability, differential needs, differential commitments to caring for particular subgroups, and informs how altruists are perceived by others. The implications of this work for future research on altruism are highlighted.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 30, 2008
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