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Title: Developing empathy, shifting worldviews and transforming conflict through creative and reflective engagement with narrative
Author: Huber, Lisa Worth
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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Empathy is the ability to stand in another's shoes, to approximate another's experience, to feel what another feels. According to scientists, sociologists, psychologists, and Nobel Peace Laureates, empathy is crucial for the continuation and flourishing of humankind. When empathy is achieved, and an individual is able to perceive him/herself as the Other, the foundation for both transforming conflict and shifting of fundamental worldviews is possible. This research explores different aspects of conflict, primarily through the lens of bullying. Data was collected and analyzed from over 300 students ranging in age from 8-18 years. In addition, a variety of narrative forms from comic books and graphic novels to theatrical plays based upon ancient mythology to in-depth survey questions are investigated, examining moments where empathy may be experienced and understood by participants. These narratives created by student-participants are interpreted through a Narrative Phenomenology methodology, highlighting students' perception of themselves as well as their lived-experience in relationship with others. These myriad story narratives reveal important information on ways social justice and human lights education, moral imagination, and adults as models of empathic behaviour might inspire youth to move past bullying and violence toward more compassionately motivated inclusive communities. Central to the research is the Triptych Narrative Method designed by the researcher that is utilized in a variety of settings and determined to be effective in aiding in the development of empathy. Through the identification of a Lacuna Epiphany Space, over which the act of dialogue may create a Lacuna Bridge. it is possible through an empathic-epiphany exchange for participants to become conscious of feeling with another. thereby bridging the often separate sense between Self and Other into a shared experience of Self as Other. This tool has far-reaching applications as well as the potential to assist in the global effort toward awakening humanity to their empathic abilities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available