Why belonging matters: Fellows Friday with Chelsea Shields Strayer

scottdemeo:

Really cool article by an anthropologist with a lot to talk about. Her life story is interesting (especially how she came to be what she is! Talk about unpredictable), and the stuff she has to say on the placebo effect really tickles my brain (in a good way). Check her out!

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Blog_FF_ChelseaStrayer

How did human emotions evolve to help us survive? For the last decade, cultural anthropologist Chelsea Shields Strayer has studied the indigenous healing practices of the Ashante people of Ghana, discovering that emotional pain serves useful purposes — including the relief of physical pain. In this conversation with the TED Blog, she tells the fascinating story of how she struggled to free herself from her gender-biased Mormon culture to study another culture far away, in the process gathering important information about the physiological basis of the placebo effect, learning how social ostracization affects physical well-being, and getting a new perspective on the community she comes from.

How did you end up studying traditional healing cultures in Ghana?

I grew up in a very conservative Mormon culture in Utah. My father works for the church educational system, and my mother is a stay-at-home mom of eight. None of the women in…

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