Eric S. Greene, Founder and Executive Director
Like so many, I’ve been interested in family relationships since childhood – fascinated at how some families seemed happy and close while others were fraught with conflict and a quiet desperation. As a child, I was curious about the prevailing cultural ‘wisdom’ that discouraged people from looking at the family dynamics of others – we were simply taught to “mind your own business.” I understood the need to respect privacy, but was concerned about what could happen “behind closed doors.”
This began to change in the 1970s 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 different forms 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, specializing in psychological anthropology, I look at our lives holistically – their joys and challenges – recognizing that everything can be interrelated. Professionally, I served as an executive with behavioral health-related nonprofits at the community and international levels, including NYC’s Hispanic AIDS Forum and ETR Associates. Numerous issues were addressed, including familial rejection, chemical and behavioral addictions, loneliness, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and domestic violence. While developing community programs, I recognized that many family conflicts – such as sibling abuse, pet abuse, and in-law conflicts – were never adequately addressed. I continue to support nonprofit and artistic projects as an independent consultant.
In the early 1980s I pioneered the transdisciplinary field of Animals and Culture Studies as an undergraduate. It examines the cultural perceptions, representations and statuses of animals, as well as our relationships with them at home, in ‘the wild,’ and within society at-large, cross-culturally. The field also explores what it means to be human, the significance of family and community, and our connection to Nature.
Interweaving my professional and academic work with that of our board, advisors and volunteers, Family Spirals® is positioned to effectively address widespread yet under-served needs, including sibling conflicts, discord with in-laws, families with animals, and the impact of tech on family dynamics.
My BA and MA were rooted in cultural anthropology (from Binghamton University and Vermont College, respectively), as was graduate study at the New School for Social Research.
Research interests: language, constructions and expressions of public and private spaces, family dynamics, social marginalization, and constructions of authority/expertise.
updated March 4, 2020