Nic M. Weststrate, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Developmental Psychology at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, working in the research group of Dr. Judith Glück. In broad terms, Nic's research examines the development, manifestation, and transmission of wisdom. Recently, his research has been investigating the transmission of lived wisdom through intergenerational storytelling within families in three cultures and among groups of marginalized people. Nic is an alumnus of the Wisdom and Identity Lab in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto and a current member of the University of Toronto's Institute for Life Course and Aging.
August 24th, 2018 | 55 mins 42 secs
culture, exploratory processing, gay culture, gay liberation, generativity, holocaust, narrative, post gay, psychology, redemptive processing, social psychology, st louis, stonewall, storytelling, wisdom
Why do we spend so much time telling stories - about ourselves, about each other, even about fictional characters? If storytelling isn’t simply about information exchange, what role does it really play in our lives? Why do older people feel compelled to share their hard-earned wisdom with younger people? And do the younger people actually get anything from these exchanges? Nic Weststrate joins Igor and Charles to pull apart the real reasons we share stories. We discuss exploratory and redemptive processing of life-shattering events, the complex motivations behind Holocaust survivors recounting of the Jewish refugees on the St. Louis ship at the U.S. shore, and the Stonewall riots as the mythical origin story of the Gay Liberation movement. Igor questions the role of the omnipresent Netflix storytelling machine. Nic suggests that greater tolerance around sexuality can rob people of their once revolutionary identities. Charles learns that, when our lives are broken, we may have to choose between the path to wisdom and the path to happiness. Welcome to Episode 7.