Cultural Imperatives of Prosocial Behaviour: A Redefinition of Volunteerism in Nigeria
Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume 3, Issue 5, September 2015, Pages: 230-233
Received: Aug. 19, 2015; Accepted: Oct. 30, 2015; Published: Nov. 17, 2015
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Chiedozie Okechukwu Okafor, Department of Psychology, Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
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Volunteerism has been widely defined as a long-term, planned pro-social behavior that benefits strangers, and which occur within an organizational setting (e.g, Penner, 2002). This definition seems to divorce volunteering from by-stander intervention in an emergency situation, which does involve helping strangers. The present paper contends that this definition of volunteerism does not consider cultural imperatives. For example, the paper argues that the indigenous help practices attendant in a collectivist society such as Nigeria do not always locate strangers, and could fellow up help efforts from an emergency to a long-standing non-emergency end. The paper, therefore, posits that any meaningful research and discussion on volunteerism in Nigeria should give credence to cultural foundations of prosocial behaviour such as kinship and in-group empathy. This, hopefully, will improve the possibilities of crime control, terrorism reduction and poverty alleviation.
Volunteerism, Kinship, Empathy, Help, Prosocial Behaviour
To cite this article
Chiedozie Okechukwu Okafor, Cultural Imperatives of Prosocial Behaviour: A Redefinition of Volunteerism in Nigeria, Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 5, 2015, pp. 230-233. doi: 10.11648/j.hss.20150305.20
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