Color & Control:

The Anthropology of Belonging


This is a very good article about the evolutionary roots of our universal desire to belong to a group.

© Gerda Wever-Rabehl

The author concludes the article with this paragraph:

Our need to belong to a group is, and always has been, crucial for our survival. We are deeply social creatures and social banishment is still exceedingly threatening to our wellbeing. Our desire to belong to a group, to know and to be known is universal, although the ways in which this desire is enacted might differ according to culture. Based on the work of Fiske and Yamamoto, we have illustrated this point and looked at some of the differences in the ways in which Americans and Japanese enact the desire to belong. These cultural differences however, apply only to the ways in which the desire to belong is enacted. The desire to belong itself, the fear of rejection and the pain of social rejection is universal, shared by us all.

Read Dr. Wever-Rebehl’s impression of our belonging initiative below.

Thanks again, Brian, for adding the link to my articles on social isolation to your site. I have had a bit more time to visit your site and am so impressed. What a great job you are doing. It is stimulating in all senses of the word, and form and content are entirely congruous- what I mean to say is, your site discusses belonging in the language and art of belonging.

I will keep you informed of any other articles I might do on the anthropology of belonging. My articles are arousing much responses, and I am considering another series. I am also thinking that perhaps you might be interested in having a link on my website as well (

Warmest regards,

Gerda Wever-Rabehl, Ph.D
The Write Room. Writing & Editing Services.


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