At a moment when society feels dangerously polarized, fragmented, and unstable, “Our Tribal Nature: Tribalism, Politics, and Evolution,” a Leakey Foundation Survival Symposium offers a forum for understanding our human urge to form alliances.
Join us on September 19 at the Morgan Library in New York to examine the evolutionary origins and function of tribalism, our social transition from tribes to states, and the role tribal identity plays in our increasingly divided world.
This symposium will be hosted and moderated by Sebastian Junger, the New York Times bestselling author of Tribe, War, and The Perfect Storm.
- Polly Wiessner will discuss why and how tribes form, the emotional and psychological impact of tribal culture on members, and how our tribal nature is evolving.
- Alison Brooks will discuss archaeological evidence of the human behaviors that create large-scale social networks and communities, and the role such communities played in the evolution of modern humans.
- Richard Wrangham will discuss the underlying psychology of human tribal behavior and explain why it is so distinct from that of other animals.
- Mahzarin Banaji will discuss how our tribal nature operates within a broader social hierarchy.
- Molly Crockett will discuss how tribal psychology influences the use and impact of social media.
- Joshua Greene will discuss a strategy—which draws on decades of research in psychology, economics, political science, and anthropology—which aims to combat tribalism through mutually rewarding cooperation.
- Frances Fukuyama will discuss our social transition from tribes to states and the propensity of states to seek legitimacy through tribal-like identities, which encourages the rise of xenophobia and nationalism.
This event includes a complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvre reception from 5 to 6 PM and a symposium from 6 to 9:30 PM.