Definition: Altruism is the tendency to see the needs of others as more important than one’s own and to therefore be willing to sacrifice for others. In one of his major books (Suicide) Emile Durkheim saw altruism as the basis for patterns of suicide in some societies in which people might identify so strongly with a group or community that they would readily sacrifice themselves to protect its interests or to uphold its traditions.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Crossman, Ashley. "Altruism." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2016, Crossman, Ashley. (2016, March 3). Altruism. Retrieved from Crossman, Ashley. "Altruism." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 19, 2018).