Case Study Excursus: Part 2

To show how a generous self-identity looks in the context of real lives, we take a second excursus through our case studies. Our participants who mostly agreed that they have a GSID were Susan Baker, Jackie Sawyer, Cindy Phelps, Tanika Sandaval, and Rosa Perez. Our cases who slightly agreed with a GSID were Ryan Dewey, George Nettleson, Regina Buckner, and Deon Williams. The one case study who was neutral, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with a GSID, was Linda Chesterfield. The only person among our case studies who disagreed in any way with a GSID was Anthony Ross, who slightly disagreed. In the following discussion we highlight a few participants’ GSID in relation to their overall giving type.

Mostly Agree GSID

Among our participants who mostly agreed that it is very important to them to be a generous person, we see the influence of place, resources, and social status. As sociologists we refer to this as the power of context: how you perceive yourself is relative to your surroundings. Among our case studies, Susan, Michael, Cindy, and Rosa all mostly agreed that they had a generous self-identity, and we here highlight Michael as an example of this group.

Michael describes his overall identity as a generous person in this way:

I think I’m generous in the sense of my time that I’m willing to spend with people, and to help them out. In fact in many cases I’d say that I’ve really done some things above and beyond the [call] of duty, in terms of donating volunteer work or making charitable contributions. I think I could do more than what I do. And I would like to do more.

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