Our Academic Perspectives Lecture series aims to link VCSE practitioners to academic ideas and evidence, to give voluntary sector audiences an opportunity to step back from day-to-day concerns and think more broadly about topics and ideas that can inform everyday practice.
On Thursday 2nd December we welcomed Jon Dean, Associate Professor in Politics and Sociology at Sheffield Hallam University, to speak about ‘The Symbolic Power of Charity’.
‘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.
During the lecture we considered how much the sector can continue to rely on this automatic goodwill, and the practical implications of this for local charities’ own efforts in fundraising and volunteer involvement.
The recording of the lecture is now available on our YouTube Channel. You can also download Jon's presentation slides below.