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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the human essence in helping relations, with a particular focus on belongingness, independence, and status. It first reviews research on seeking and receiving help, paying attention to how receiving assistance from others leads to positive and negative consequences for the recipient: positive reactions are expressed in feelings of gratitude, while negative consequences come in the form of threat to self-esteem. The chapter proceeds by discussing the dynamics of inequality in interpersonal and intergroup helping, along with the autonomy versus dependency nature of help (i.e., solutions vs. tools). It explores how generosity breeds prestige within the group. It continues to strategic aspects in intergroup helping relations, considers the ways in which helping relations constitute subtle mechanisms to maintain or challenge existing structural inequality (i.e., the Intergroup Helping as Status Relations model, IHSR). It concludes by explaining the unique human essence of helping relations between individuals and groups.

Keywords: autonomy, dependence, help-seeking, receiving help, prosocial behavior, strategic helping, gratitude, threat to self-esteem, intergroup helping, structural inequality

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