This American Life

Built around the innovative vision of Ira Glass, this program documents and describes contemporary America. Using radio monologues, mini-documentaries, “found tape,” and unusual music, it is radio storytelling at its best.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014 Permalink

This American Life: Tribes

  Susan Munroe / This American Life

Susan Munroe / This American Life

And the story of a white guy who only wants to date Asian women, who then has to adjust to the reality of a real actual Asian woman in his life. The phrase "finding your tribe" is a total cliche — but one that does apply to certain situations.
Prologue: Until almost 10,000 years ago, everyone literally lived in a tribe of a few hundred or a small band of a few dozen people. U.C.L.A. scientist Jared Diamond talks about how back then, you could go your whole life without ever encountering a stranger. He recently came out with a book called The World Until Yesterday.
Act 1: I know I Am But What Are You There is a Native American tribe in California called the Chukchansi that’s fighting over the most basic thing any group can fight over — who should be a member? David Ferry explains just how bitter their dispute has become. 
Act 2 : A Tribe Called Rest How could whispering change your life? Andrea Seigel tells this story about finding out that she is undeniably not alone. She’s a novelist with several books including Like the Red Panda
Act 3: I Am Curious Yellow A story about a guy named Steven who wants in on a group he definitely was not born into — and seems very unlikely to be accepted by. Filmmaker Debbie Lum tells the story, which is excerpted from her documentary Seeking Asian Female. A version of this story originally ran on the radio program Snap Judgment. Companion video series about dating and race here.