Eric S. Greene, Founder and Executive Director
Like so many of us, Eric Greene has been studying family relationships since childhood – fascinated at how some families seemed happy and close while others seemed fraught with conflict and a quiet desperation. As a child of the 1960s, he was also fascinated by the prevailing cultural ‘wisdom’ that discouraged people from looking at the family dynamics of others – we were taught to “mind your own business.” This began to change as cases of rape and domestic violence were increasingly addressed in popular media, as well as cases of child molestation and parental child abuse. As each form of abuse came to light, the pattern was the same: a transition from what was unspeakable to public discourse, enabling us, as a society, to help those in need.
As a cultural anthropologist, Eric looks at human life holistically – its joys and challenges – recognizing that all is interrelated. Beginning in the early 1980s, he pioneered the transdisciplinary field of Animals and Culture Studies, examining the cultural perceptions, representations and statuses of animals as well as our relationships with them at home, in ‘the wilds,’ and within society at-large, cross-culturally. The field also explores what it means to be human, the significance of community, and our connection to ‘Nature.’ Eric’s particular interests focus on language, constructions and expressions of public and private spaces, family dynamics, social marginalization, and constructions of authority/expertise. He currently serves as an advisor to the Animals and Society Institute, as well as its journal, Society & Animals.
Eric has also been an executive with health-based nonprofits at the community and international levels, including the Hispanic AIDS Forum and ETR Associates, and continues to support nonprofit and artistic projects as an independent consultant. While developing community programs, he found that many family conflicts – such as sibling abuse, pet abuse, and in-law conflicts – were never addressed.
Eric interweaves his professional and academic work with that of our board, advisors and volunteers in order for Family Spirals™ to effectively address widespread yet underserved needs. He developed and graduated with a BA and MA in animals and culture studies (Vermont College and Binghamton University, respectively), with advanced study in cultural anthropology at the New School for Social Research.
updated March 11, 2017