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Sowing the Seeds of Altruism in Social Interaction: Appealing to Empathic Proclivity to Address Social Violence in Latin America

by Davis, Katherine Carroll

Abstract (Summary)
Social violence is a serious problem in Latin America, an assertion that is thoroughly supported by statistics that identify Latin America as one of the most violent regions in the world (Searching for Solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean 20). These violent statistics explored in the very first chapter set the stage for this proposal by establishing its dire purpose. Formative historical legacies are central to social development, and they can provide the root causes and resentments that spur such social violence. There are a few that are common to the area of Latin America as a whole, such as the colonial experience and the slave trade, and these are examined alongside legacies of key leaders and educators that have shaped the face of the region and produced both pillars of hope and some of the greatest obstacles to social change. Understanding the root causes of violence and the formidable obstacles against effecting social change are key elements in designing and instituting a solution to this problem. Within this solution, education is a universally valid channel that, if given the necessary resources and personnel, could affect the lives of the majority of citizens. Combining the ideas of Martin L. Hoffman on the effect of inductive discipline encounters on children through character education, education becomes a powerful tool for creating not only more intelligent and autonomous citizens, but more empathic ones more attuned to an ethic of care. While such a proposal certainly offers no guarantees and its successful institution would need to co-exist with other much needed social, political and economic reforms, it is presented as an innovative and experimental solution to a pressing problem taking a toll on the social and economic capital of societies in the region; a toll that is not easily ignored, particularly those for whom violence is an every day reality.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Steven F. Butterman; Dr. Michael Slote; Dr. Tracy L. Devine Guzman

School:University of Miami

School Location:USA - Florida

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:latin american studies arts sciences

ISBN:

Date of Publication:09/16/2008

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