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1: Tribalism 101: Pick a Side

Renee Bright / KUER

People on the left and right may disagree on many things, but they generally agree that tribalism is bad for our country. This episode looks at how we are affected by tribalism in our modern lives and whether there is any hope of getting beyond it.

Andrea talks with LaVonne Maloney, a friend she first met while working as a reporter at KUER. Lavonne hasn’t talked to her sister in nearly two years following an argument about politics. Also, a recent late-night tweet from Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox goes viral when hecalls out political tribalism in the searing debate over family separation at the US-Mexico border. Later, anthropologist Elizabeth Crouch Zelman explains that tribalism is part of all of us, but also threatens our survival.

Week 1 Challenge:

Each week we’re ending our episode with a challenge. This week we ask: can we find the strength and unity of a tribe without an enemy? We want you to name five groups in your life when you are stronger together, where you find a sense of identity and belonging.

Think about it, then send an email or a voice memo listing your five tribes to

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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