This is the third in GMCVO's Academic Perspectives Lecture series.
‘Doing something for charity’ is near-universally seen as a good thing. Starting from the relatively uncontroversial statement that we tend to think positively of those people whom we perceive to be altruistic, kind, and going out of their way to help others, this talk argues this means charitable people and charitable acts are imbued with a certain symbolic power or symbolic credit – the good glow – that can be operationalised in all manner of ways.
From politicians and tax dodgers laundering their reputations through their giving, to charities avoiding awkward questions because they are doing important work, the good glow is an always present but often unsaid social power behind our charitable acts. But in a more cynical world, how much can the sector rely on this automatic goodwill anymore? And what are the practical implications of this for local charities’ own efforts in fundraising and volunteer involvement?
Jon Dean is Associate Professor in Politics and Sociology at Sheffield Hallam University. His most recent book include The Good Glow (2020) and Researching Voluntary Action (2022) from Policy Press.
Additional Course / Event Documents