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Researcher asks: “How generous are the Brits?”

30 Sep 2010

A University of Manchester sociologist is to conduct a ground breaking study of generosity in contemporary Britain.

Professor Yaojun Li from the School of Social Sciences will be the only UK researcher to take part in the US based Science of Generosity Initiative.

The Indiana based University of Notre Dame awarded £884,000 to nine research projects  - eight of which are based in America-  on the origin, manifestations and consequences of generosity.

Professor Li will analyse the annual UK Citizenship Survey between 2001 – 2010, the most authoritative data set in Britain.

They will explore the relationship between charitable giving, civic volunteering and informal helping, areas relevant to the Government’s Big Society agenda.

They will also examine the forces shaping people’s generosity, and the consequences of generous dispositions and practices on people’s well-being, trust and political participation.

Professor Li said: “This study should deepen our understanding of factors that either promote or reduce British generosity and help us inform policy-making that aims to build a more hospitable Britain.

“It should offer the most comprehensive and systematic research on population level generosity in Britain.

“It will also be of considerable importance to policy makers and the third sector, helping them design more effective fund-raising programs and policy initiatives to make our society generally more hospitable.”

Established in 2009 with a £3.15 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the Initiative brings together the often disconnected and diverse approaches to generosity studies in order to study generosity in all its forms.

Notes for editors

For media enquires contact:

Mike Addelman
Media Relations
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881567
Michael.addelman@manchester.ac.uk