Award Date

5-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Department

Public Administration

Advisor 1

Dr. Anna Lukemeyer

Number of Pages

68

Abstract

On the morning of September 11th, the world was witness to a tragedy that represented the very worst and the very best of what human beings are capable. Marked by heroic deeds with life-saving consequences, caring acts performed by complete strangers, and charitable giving carried out by a shocked but generous country, the events of September are prime exemplars of America's philanthropic tradition. For some, these humanitarian acts were instinctive, for others more purposeful and conscious, and for still others perhaps an appeal to duty. The response to the immediate and longer-term needs of the victims, their families and communities affected by the events of September is but one example of what it means to be a caring and compassionate society. De Tocqueville recognized this over 150 years ago when he wrote, "If some great and sudden calamity befalls a family, the purses of a thousand strangers are at once willingly opened and small but numerous donations pour in to relieve their distress" (Mayer & Lerner, 1966). Yet, the notion of people helping people is as old as human nature itself. Social researchers have offered valuable theories to help explain how prosocial behavior is developed and nurtured in humans, and how it cuts cleanly across class, cultural, gender, and religious distinctions. Other groups have meanwhile joined researchers, including non-profit agencies, religious organizations, professional societies, and charitable foundations in the desire to better understand prosocial behavior in order to help strengthen the philanthropic tradition. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is one example of a group that is directing efforts toward strengthening the philanthropic tradition. GSUSA is a youth organization for girls with a mission to "inspire girls with the highest ideals of character, conduct, patriotism, and service that they may become happy and resourceful citizens" (Girl Scouts of the USAa, 2000). Through a new program initiative designed for its female youth members called, Strength in Sharing: Philanthropy in Girl Scouting, the organization is attempting to enhance and develop certain attributes that are believed to be associated with the attitudes necessary to develop a philanthropic tradition.

Keywords

Girl Scouts; Girl Scouts of the United States of America; Girl Scouts of the USA; Humanitarianism; Personality development; Philanthropinism; Teenage girls

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology

Language

English


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