Blog 7: Empathy Around the World

As a human race, we all understand that we can feel empathy with each other and for each other. We unite under the umbrella of empathy, knowing that we all have the same set of genes that make us both similar and unique. However, even as we are we are connected in so many ways, we are also divided by cultures, traditions, and beliefs. This creates barriers in our empathy that restrict us from relating to people who do not have the same background as ourselves. The consequence of being unable to empathize is that people of different cultures battle and fight, whether physically, verbally, or emotionally. The aspect I’m most curious about is the physical battles and wars that result from the limitations of empathy across cultures. This will include a look into terrorism and how a lack of empathy builds up these actions. An evaluation of the role of empathy in international and intercultural relations, with some solutions, could provide a way for the world to achieve more acceptance of others and hopefully, eventually, peace.

Scholarly Sources:

Cui, Geng, and Sjef Van Der Berg. “Testing the Construct Validity of Intercultural Effectiveness.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 15.2 (1991): 227-40. ScienceDirect. Web.

Finlay, Krystina A., and Walter G. Stephan. “Improving Intergroup Relations: The Effects of Empathy of Racial Attitudes.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 30.8 (2000): 1720-737. Web.

Keohane, Robert O. “Reciprocity in International Relations.” International Organization 40.01 (1986): 1. Web.

Stein, Arthur A. Why Nations Cooperate: Circumstance and Choice in International Relations. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. Print.

Zee, Karen I. Van Der, and Jan Pieter Van Oudenhoven. “Multicultural Personality Questionnaire.” Journal of Research in Personality 35.3 (2001): 278-88. ScienceDirect. Web.

8 thoughts on “Blog 7: Empathy Around the World

  1. It looks like your research paper will be addressing how the lack of empathy across countries and cultures manifests as war. I see that by the end of this paper you hope to formulate an empathic solution that could promote peace and understanding. I liked how you narrowed the range of conflicts you would be addressing to war and physical confrontation and gave clear examples of things to be expected. It might be good to differentiate the ways in which we all experience empathy and how external factors can limit this empathy. I can see this being a debatable topic as some people might argue that wars start as a result of economic gain or ideological differences. From there, I could see you arguing that such reasons could stem from a lack of empathy for others.

  2. I agree with Jessica’s statement above. I am seeing ideas about how differences in culture, traditions. and beliefs (uniqueness among diverse nations) could restrict empathetic responses between nations and/or communities, thus builds up tension between those nations, which could eventually leads to damaging conflicts. Terms I find significant in your argument are divided, background, limitation of empathy, international/intercultural connections, battles/wars, terrorism, and peace.
    It looks like the solution in your writing would gear towards elements that would increase empathy and decrease cultural tension nationally. I find the relation between the lack of empathy and the physical battles interesting to discuss. Have fun writing!

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