Offering a holistic take on an emerging field, this edited collection examines how heroism manifests, is appropriated, and is constructed in a broad range of settings and from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Psychologists, educators, lawyers, researchers and cultural analysts consider how heroism intersects with wellbeing, and how we still use—and even abuse—heroism as a vehicle to thrive and prosper in the everyday and in the face of the most unbearable situations. Highlighting some of the most pressing issues in today’s world—including genocide, racism, deceitful business practices, bystanderism, mental health, unethical governance and the global refugee crisis—this book applies a critical psychological perspective in synthesizing the social construction of heroism and wellbeing, contributing to the development of global wellbeing indicators and measures.
"This book takes the study of heroism into new and unexpected areas and brings in new discussion partners with fresh ideas on the topic"
- Suzanne Mallery, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, La Sierra University, USA.
"Efthimiou, Allison and Franco’s Heroism and Well-Being in the 21st Century advances our understanding of the vital but unexplored links between heroism and human well-being. Weaving together an impressive body of theory and evidence, it presents a compelling argument for a new construct, heroic well-being, providing scholars with an original and fertile framework for future research."
- Roderick Kramer, William R. Kimball Professor of Organizational Behavior, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA.
"Research on heroism often considers how grand gestures by famous men and women can affect ordinary people. In the current volume, editors Olivia Efthimiou, Scott T. Allison, and Zeno E. Franco put forward a unique thesis that implicitly comments on this tradition. They focus on the way in which ordinary people can engage in heroic actions that—in turn—provide themselves, through improvements in their own well-being, as well as others, with the benefit of this heroism. The authors invited to contribute this edited volume examine this thesis using a wide variety of case studies ranging from the response of citizens in Flint, Michigan to the crisis of contaminated drinking water to contributions that young lawyers can make toward improving their communities. They even apply the well-being that can be created by heroic action to the interpretation of mass media such as the iconic television show Star Trek. In addition to a wide range of topics, the perspectives advanced by the authors also reflect an international perspective, with contributors coming from countries like the United States, Norway, Australia, Germany, and Iraq. The broad range of topics, coupled with the international perspectives, makes this unique volume a valuable contribution to both research on heroism as well as social activism."
- James K. Beggan, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Louisville, USA.
"This engaging text provides a valuable resource for examining different perspectives about the human capacity for heroism in the face of adversity, and the role of heroes in promoting resilience and wellbeing in others. These thought-provoking chapters are likely to inspire others to organise new research and seminars on these topics for many years to come. "
- Elaine Kinsella, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Limerick, Ireland
Foreword Julie Ann Pooley
Introduction - Heroism and Wellbeing in the 21st century: Recognising and Reconciling With Our Personal Heroic Imperative
Olivia Efthimiou, Scott T. Allison, Zeno E. Franco
Preface: Letters from the Ground
Preface 1: Becoming an Everyday Hero Michelle Werning
Preface 2: Fear and Love: The Heart of Heroism and a Life Well Lived Hanne Viken
Section 1: Historical Contexts
1 Transforming Through Ambivalence: Failure, Deviance and Contradiction in Heroism Graham Seal
2 Rethinking Hero Status in Colonial Western Australia: A Step Toward Reconciliation Sarah Booth and Luciano Pavez
3 Rebuilding Lives: Heroism and Gender in The Great War Community of an Australian Soldier Margaret Warburton
Section 2: Teaching and Fostering Heroism
4 The Heroic Learner: Engaging and Inspiring Students Through the Art of Heroism Joanna Pascoe
5 The Hero's Journey: A Mudmap to Wellbeing Clive Williams
6 Personal Heroism Through Fact and Fiction: Safeguarding Truth and Freedom in the Utopia of Star Trek and the Whistleblowing of Edward Snowden Chris Comerford
Section 3: Contemporary Professional Practices
7 Fake Heroism as a Mechanism for Mafia Offer: A Critical Realism Perspective on the Abuse of Heroism Layla Al-Hameed
8 Lawyers as Heroes: Fostering Holistic Wellbeing by Developing Heroic Virtues in Law Students Nick James and Francina Cantatore
9 The Visible-Invisible School Leader: Redefining Heroism and Offering Alternate Metaphors for Educational Leadership Deborah M. Netolicky
Section 4: Crisis, Displacement and Recovery
10 Paradoxical Heroism: Heroic Altruism and Wellbeing During and After the Holocaust Stephanie Fagin-Jones
11 Heroic Feat: An Aboriginal Sport Club's Collective Journey to Healthy Resistance Amma Buckley and Craig Turley
12 The Unintended Consequences of Heroism or Acts of Bravery on Civilians Thomas Voigt, Andrew Day, and Susan Balandin
13 The Adversity Antidote: How Heroism Education is Being Employed to Navigate Hardship and Achieve Wellbeing in Flint Michigan Ellie Jacques
Conclusion: Definition, Synthesis and Applications of Heroic Wellbeing Olivia Efthimiou, Scott T. Allison, and Zeno E. Franco