Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

The Good Glow

Charity and the Symbolic Power of Doing Good

By Jon Dean

Published

28 May 2020

Page count

214 pages

ISBN

978-1447344902

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

28 May 2020

Page count

214 pages

ISBN

978-1447340027

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

28 May 2020

Page count

214 pages

ISBN

978-1447344919

Dimensions

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

28 May 2020

Page count

214 pages

ISBN

978-1447344919

Dimensions

Imprint

Policy Press
The Good Glow

We praise those people who do things for others. But the symbolic power of giving means individuals can take advantage of the glow of 'goodness' that charity provides.

This book analyses the reality of how charity operates in the social world; how the personal benefits of giving and volunteering are vital for getting charitable acts to happen; how the altruism associated with gifts isn't always what it seems; how charity misbehaviour or bad management gets overlooked; and how charity symbols are weaponised against those who don't participate.

Drawing on original data and a novel application of the sociology of Bourdieu, this book examines a wide range of examples from culture, politics and society to provide an entertaining critique of how contemporary charity works.

“A hugely relevant and important book for how we understand the institution of charity and how it mobilises and utilises symbolic power. A must read for all scholars of charity.” Eddy Hogg, University of Kent

"This is an engaging, must-read analysis for anyone interested in understanding charity and its influence on our lives and society." Angela Eikenberry, University of Nebraska

"From charity humblebrags to performance philanthropy, this fascinating and highly-readable book provides many valuable insights for anyone interested in understanding the cultural and social role of charity." Rhodri Davies, Charities Aid Foundation

Jon Dean is Reader in Politics and Sociology at Sheffield Hallam University.

Introduction

Giving and getting: Using charity’s symbolic power

#humblebrags and the good giving self on social media

Charities, expertise and policy

The kids aren’t alright: The collapse of Kids Company

Poppy fascism

Effective altruism and ignoring charity’s symbolic power

Conclusions: The good glow

Methodological Appendix