Robert Park Lecturer
MA, Sociology, University of Chicago
How and why do individuals commit to serving the public good in urgent and heart-wrenching moments? Social scientists and policymakers have tackled this question, particularly amid ongoing health calamities. In my mix-methods research, I study the regulations and programs to incentivize organ donation for transplants globally. Across Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, particularly, governments have enacted organ donation regulations representing the full range of possibilities worldwide—from legalized compensations for donors, voluntary donation, to kin-restricted gift-giving, respectively—even though the three societies share existing moral practices that keep the body intact and challenge organ donation. Given these different regulations, however, the deceased kidney donation rates have been similar in the three polities. My research explains such unanticipated outcomes by comparing the arrangements of medical and emotion work that channel effective moral narratives to make altruism work.