Toxic Environments and the Embedded Psyche

A discussion of the recent transition to a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, opens this article. The need to declare a new era has been declared necessary by geologists, together with other scientists and critical commentators due to the inordinate amount of human-made destruction being imposed on the globe and its inhabitants. This destruction disproportionally effects those who are economically deprived and experience discrimination. An account of the recognition and routinization of epi- genetics follows, in which an unexamined assumption of genetic determinism is debunked. A move to recognize human existence everywhere as contextualized in environments that impinge on body functioning throughout life opens up a discus- sion of the embodiment of trauma followed by six illustrative examples from the newly recognized field of environmental epigenetics.

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