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Local Reasons to Give Globally: Identity Extension and Global Cooperation
Buchan, Nancy R.
Jeong, Sophia Soyoung
Ward, A. K.
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Recent political events across the world suggest a retrenchment from globalization and a possible increase in parochialism. This inward-looking threat from parochialism occurs just as the global community faces growing challenges that require trans-national cooperation. In this research, we question if strong identification with an in-group necessarily leads to parochialism and ultimately is detrimental to global cooperation. Building on research on global social identification, we explore whether strong local identification can expand in inclusiveness to global identification, and among whom this is likely to happen. The results of our global public goods study - conducted in South Korea and the United States - show that high levels of social identification with a local group can extend to the global collective, particularly for individuals who are also high in concern-for-others. Furthermore, this identification translates into behavior that benefits the global, anonymous group at a cost to oneself. These results shed light on how to avoid the trap of parochialism and instead engender cooperative behavior with the broader global community.