An outline of how theories of pro-social behaviour and altruism can help us understand the impact of the arts on individuals, communities and society as a whole. People United believes that the arts and culture have a powerful and unique role to play in bringing about social change, through inspiring the conditions for kindness to grow.
Written in association with the Centre for the Study of Group Processes at the University of Kent, this paper is for practitioners, arts professionals, policy makers, researchers, funders, and all those who have a passion for building kinder, more caring communities.
We are living in turbulent times and confronting profound challenges such as climate change, rising inequality and resource scarcity. Both the global situation and circumstances closer to home such as the current austerity programme means difficult questions are being asked about fairness, entitlement and who is most deserving.
Underneath these questions is a consideration of our values – our deepest motivations and guiding principles, and how they influence our everyday actions and behaviours.