Connection

Podcast

Sebastian Junger: Our Evolutionary Need For Community

Tribal solidarity is in our genetic programming
Sunday, June 26, 2016, 11:35 AM

Peabody award-winning author Sebastian Junger joins our podcast this week. Junger is well-known for his NYT-bestselling books The Perfect Storm and War, the latter of which was written after a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. 

Based on his observations while in Afghanistan, Junger noted how much troops in combat valued the social solidarity of their units. In fact, he noted that the loss of this cohesive community, with its sense of purpose and shared responsibility, created prodigious psychological strife when these soldiers returned and tried to re-integrate into civilian life. This dynamic is not just limited to the military; any collection of humans working in tight-knit groups under stress, united in purpose, evidences similar behavior (Peace Corps volunteers, trauma care physicians, etc).

In his latest book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Junger explores our evolutionary wiring for community, and paradoxically, how our modern aspirations for "success" and "wealth" attempt to distance ourselves from it -- making us unhappier and emotionally unhealthier in the pursuit. » Read more