University of Twente Student Theses


The Empathy World Café : a qualitative exploration of the needs behind the call for empathy in society

Segeren, T.A.C. (2019) The Empathy World Café : a qualitative exploration of the needs behind the call for empathy in society.

Abstract:Introduction: A call for more empathy in society is often heard in social rhetoric, which often fail to clarify these needs and to propose strategies. The word "empathy" is not clearly defined, and the meaning varies across different contexts further confusing the issue. The thesis’ research questions are: what are the needs behind the call for more empathy in society? and: how can these needs be addressed? Method: The public is engaged in dialogue about empathy through the qualitative World Café method at two seperate events in Enschede and Amsterdam. The method consists of a series of informal conversations between groups of participants with rotating constitution, followed by a harvesting round where insights and conclusions from these conversations are reported. Results and Discussion: The World Café events generate several insights about beeds and strategies to stimulate empathy. Some needs expressed on different levels are suggested to be in conflict with each other, possibly resulting from the fuzziness of the meaning of 'empathy'. Although the World Café results are not expected to represent the wider public due to the qualitative nature of the method, the World Café method appears to be a useful tool for engaging communities and for generating ideas.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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