#59 Moffett on Societies, Identity, and Belonging

#59 Moffett on Societies, Identity, and Belonging

During this sprawling episode, biologist and author, Dr. Mark Moffett, discusses societies. Mark observes that the acceptance of strangers was a breakthrough in the evolution of humanity. Moreover, humans maintain allegiance to group identities, and our uneasy coexistence with outsiders is reflected both in the fault lines within societies and in the relationships between nations. These topics are explored along with the involuntary nature of social membership, cosmopolitanism, immigration, and subtle micro-signals which indicate group belonging. Mark’s upcoming research efforts will examine how animal societies stay together and what causes them to break apart, and compare the situation for humans; his field work will encompass a wide range of vertebrate animals, from lions and chimpanzees to Florida scrub jays and parrot fish.

Resource Links:

Link to full show notes and resources

Guest Bio: Dr. Mark Moffett is a biologist at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian and the author of ‘The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall.’ Dr. Moffett has published three other highly regarded books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles. He has carried out research and exploration in over one hundred countries, earning him a medal from The Explorers Club, and has received an award for writing from Harvard.

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