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Understanding children's empathy: an ethnographic study among the indigenous Runa of the Ecuadorian Amazon

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ChildEmp project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ChildEmp project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ChildEmp" about.

runa    issue    secondment    anthropology    nature    perception    ecology    philosophy    cognitive    months    people    scientific    perceive    manifested    entities    deploy    indigenous    workshop    children    perspectives    feel    kent    members    inhabit    extended    amazonian    nonhuman    designed    training    developmental    subjectivity    school    participant    inductive    social    nonhumans    psychology    ecuador    personhood    actively    academic    ecuadorian    village    time    copenhagen    culturally    visual    sphere    centre    contemporary    debates    ethnographic    acquired    university    setting    explore    environmental    understand    community    publications    grounded    policy    intentionality    circumstances    empathy    receiving    document    childhood    science    explores    human    public    reached    crisis    disseminated    plan    observation    interdisciplinary    beings    question    learns    amazon    learnt    engagement    investigates    film    environment    region    phenomenon    medical    learning   

Project "ChildEmp" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: CT2 7NZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 195˙454 €
 EC max contribution 195˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-12   to  2021-01-11


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF KENT UK (CANTERBURY, KENT) coordinator 195˙454.00


 Project objective

The phenomenon of empathy is receiving growing interest in the European public sphere and scientific community. In particular, the question of how one learns to feel empathy towards the environment and the beings which inhabit it has been identified as a key issue to address at this time of environmental crisis.The proposed project investigates how empathy is learnt by children from an Amazonian indigenous community in Ecuador. It explores how and under what circumstances indigenous children in the Ecuadorian Amazon learn to perceive nonhuman entities as human-like and develop empathy towards them. Grounded upon my extended ethnographic knowledge of the region, the project will contribute to broader contemporary debates of how empathy towards nonhumans is culturally acquired, manifested and actively learnt during childhood. This is a social anthropology project with a strong interdisciplinary approach which includes perspectives from developmental psychology, ecology, cognitive science and philosophy. The aims of this project are: 1. to explore how children learn to perceive others as human-like in a setting which is inductive to such learning; 2. to explore children’s perception and understanding of nonhuman personhood and intentionality; 3. to understand the nature of ‘empathy’ among indigenous Runa people of the Ecuadorian Amazon. These aims will be reached through 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork in an indigenous Runa village where I will deploy participant observation and other methodologies from psychology, medical and visual anthropology which will be designed during pre-fieldwork training at the University of Kent. Research results will be disseminated through an academic and public engagement plan which includes two academic publications, an ethnographic film, a secondment at the Centre for Subjectivity Research in Copenhagen, a workshop and a document to be used by community members for school policy-making.

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The information about "CHILDEMP" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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