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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"Trustanoia" A Great Interview With The Lauranader

Q and A: A Conversation with Laura Nader

An anthropologist urges us to challenge the assumptions that guide our lives.

...Last year, I asked my class, “How many of you know that more people have died as a result of the Gulf War and the sanctions than died in Nagasaki and Hiroshima?”

A student of mine did a paper on this. She wanted to find out whether what I said was true or not. She found that over a million children have died as a result of the bombing, the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, and the sanctions. Most Americans don’t know that. It’s not politically correct to ask or talk about it.

We seem to be a trusting society.
Right. One of the questions I ask students is: “Why is there not an opposite word for paranoia?” I invented such a word; I call it “trustanoia.” America suffers from trustanoia.

Did you ever play trust games in school?
No. Neither did I. That tells us how old we are. But today, when children go to school, they are taught to trust. They play a game where they fall back and have to trust that somebody’s going to catch them.

Troy Duster [professor of sociology at Berkeley] told me that, in the black community, among others, the father says, “Jump and I’ll catch you.” But he doesn’t. “Don’t ever forget that lesson!” ...READ MORE:


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