Anthropology Magazine

What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting Down Syndrome

What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting Down Syndrome

An anthropologist holds up a mirror to his own experience in order to understand how humans conceive of difference.

When Thomas Pearson’s newborn daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome, it changed the course of his life forever. Pearson joins SAPIENS hosts Jen Shannon and Chip Colwell to talk about his story, how his training in anthropology prepared him for his daughter’s diagnosis, and what he hopes other people can learn from his experience. Pearson is a professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Stout.



Read more about Thomas Pearson’s story and his research into disability studies at SAPIENS: “A Daughter’s Disability and a Father’s Awakening.”

The book Chip recommends at the end of the episode is titled The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.

Read a transcript of this episode here.

SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.