Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Doing the Right Thing to Protect Children In Tanzania

Kate McAlpine, School of Human and Organizational Development

In Tanzania many children suffer from violence, neglect, and discrimination. The political economy is such that the masses are left out and unable to mobilize to solve collective action problems. The dilemma for many people is how to be a responsible citizen in a changing country. This study seeks out the narratives of Tanzanian adults who protect children and thus who are confronting the dilemma. A classic grounded theory method is used to analyze their stories and to find out what motivates protectors to take action. An explanatory theory of the basic psychological process of doing the right thing is developed from these narratives. A secondary practical theory is elucidated which draws on the literature of positive psychology, inter-personal neuroscience, community building, social capital, and human development. The practical theory intends to inform the design of programs that encourage more and better protection of children.

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