Walking a mile in another person's shoes: contemplating limitations and learning on the road to accurate empathy

Gair, Susan (2008) Walking a mile in another person's shoes: contemplating limitations and learning on the road to accurate empathy. Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 10 (1). pp. 19-29.

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Abstract

Empathy is a very familiar term in social work and welfare education. It generally is promulgated in the literature to mean accurately perceiving of, or feeling, the experiences and emotions of another. Yet a broader literature review reveals that some of the helping literature may present an unreachable or, conversely, quite a narrow vision of empathy. Further, the literature may offer a confused range of definitions and much of the literature may fail to offer clear guidance about how we might learn empathy, particularly in a cross-cultural context. In this article, relevant helping literature is reviewed regarding the definitions and limitations of empathy, previous research is reviewed, and some assumptions about empathy are explored. How helpers (and educators) might learn and enhance their empathy skills is contemplated.

Item ID: 5705
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: empathy; social welfare education; social welfare practice
ISSN: 1329-0584
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2009 01:45
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940199 Community Service (excl. Work) not elsewhere classified @ 90%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 10%
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