Arts and kindness

Broadwood, Jo and Bunting, Catherine and Andrews, Tom and Abrams, Dominic and Van de Vyver, Julie (2012) Arts and kindness. Discussion Paper. People United Publishing.

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Abstract

For the last six years People United has been exploring how the arts can create the conditions for kindness, and from that a sense of community and social change. Our approach is motivated by a belief in the power of the arts and is rooted in a strong theoretical framework and academic research. This paper is a starting point for a conversation with all those who are interested in the role of the arts in bringing about social change. We want to share some of what we know, and more of what we don’t know but suspect might be true, about the potential of the arts to help create kinder, more caring communities. Much is claimed for the transformative power of the arts. We want to explore those claims and examine them more closely. We are driven by a curiosity to discover how our work can be more effective through understanding and learning from academic research across a range of disciplines. In this paper we use research on prosocial behaviours and altruism to propose a model for how the arts might inspire kindness. We examine the evidence and suggest what further research is needed to improve the model, and explore the implications for those of us interested in the arts and social change. This paper is for practitioners, arts professionals, policy makers, researchers, funders, and all those who have a passion for building kinder, more caring communities, whether that is in a school, a high street, an estate or a neighbourhood, a town, a city, online and off.

Keywords:arts, kindness, bmjtype
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:23165
Deposited On:19 May 2016 15:02

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