IUP sociology faculty members Christian Vaccaro, Melissa Swauger, and Alex Heckert, along with Shayna Morrison (Kent State University), recently published the paper “Sociological conceptualizations of compassion fatigue: Expanding our understanding” in the journal Sociology Compass.

Their publication aims to provide guidance for moving the academic discussion of compassion fatigue from a psychological “personal trouble” to a social problem, and provides areas where sociologists can contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon. The authors reframe the literature to conceptualize compassion fatigue as a sociological concept on micro, meso, and macro levels, and overview the potential ways that sociological approaches can enhance our understanding. In doing so, they draw on the sociological literatures of emotion work, social exchange theory, and macrolevel sociological theories to facilitate the use of compassion fatigue from a sociological perspective.

Read the abstract and article.