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Source: Hannah Arendt
Published: August 1987
Submitted by: Black Employee Network (BEN)

Collective Guilt vs. Collective Responsibility

Circulated: June 8, 2020

Fact of the Day 1 stands in solidarity with our Black colleagues. This week, facts will be published in partnership with Amazon’s Black Employee Network affinity group (BEN).

                                 
Collective guilt Collective responsibility
Definition: The idea that the individuals in a group are guilty of the harm caused by the other individuals in the group. Definition: The idea that the individuals in a group are responsible to fix the harm caused by other individuals in the group.
Can be harmful and distract from or hinder action Can be beneficial and is empowering and conducive to action
How does it look? Individuals expressing guilt or shame or apologizing profusely on behalf of their offending group. How does it look? Individuals spreading awareness of the problem and ways to act to fix it and taking concrete actions to do so.


Additional resources to read more:
Collective Responsibility and the Root of All Evil by Reid Hutchins
Collective Responsibility by Carleton University

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