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The Good GlowCharity and the Symbolic Power of Doing Good$
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Jon Dean

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340027

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340027.001.0001

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Conclusions: the good glow

Conclusions: the good glow

(p.155) 8 Conclusions: the good glow
The Good Glow

Jon Dean

Policy Press

This concluding chapter reflects on the lessons from the examination of how charity works, about what it means for charity and what it means for people. The first thing to note is that the idea that charity, gift giving, and kindness are imbued with a certain symbolic goodness that improves the actor's image is not a new observation. The fact that doing charity provides an aura of goodness exists, and so one's choice is to recognise it or not, think about it or not, and analyse it or not. What is interesting is how the presence of such a symbolic plane affects individuals' interpretation of others' actions. Ultimately, symbolic power exists in all charitable behaviour. Such power is not necessarily negative, but is generally understood as such.

Keywords:   charity, gift giving, kindness, symbolic goodness, goodness, symbolic power, charitable behaviour

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