This is the interview of Edward Wellin (social and medical anthropologist), conducted by Jim Kelly as part of his History of Community Psychology course. In this video, Dr Wellin discusses his work with rural communities in Peru, focusing on health issues, community development, and the strengths of their cultural heritage. Dr Wellin lives in Madison Wisconsin (USA), and is Professor Emeritus with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
In this video, Dr Wellin exemplifies several key competencies in working with communities. One is humility. He became part of the community while trying to understand the community. Another is to begin where they are at. He studied communities in Peru from their point of view, doing his best to get a sense of their context in their terms while trying to understand and document their strengths in our terms. He also worked with them to develop programs that built on their strengths, rather than replacing their common activities with foreign activities. With a background in anthropology and public health from Harvard University School of Public Health, and additional training in social sciences (social psychology, clinical psychology, social science, social anthropology) from the graduate school at Harvard University, Dr Wellin exemplifies the multi-disciplinary nature of the field.