What is Tribalism?

The word “tribalism” can refer to two related but distinct concepts. The first is a social system where human society is divided into small,  roughly independent subgroups, called tribes. Tribal societies lacked any organizational level beyond that of the local tribe,  with each tribe consisting only of a very small, local population.

The internal social structure of a tribe can vary greatly from case to case, but, due to the small size of tribes, it is always a relatively simple structure,  with few (if any) significant social distinctions between individuals.

Some tribes are particularly egalitarian, and most tribes have only a vague notion of private property; many have none at all.  A shared sense of identity and kinship encourages the development of kin selection.

Tribalism has also been sometimes been called “primitive communism” but this is rather misleading since allegiance to a communist state is not based on kin-selective altruism.

One thing that is certain is that tribalism is the very first social system that human beings ever lived in,  and it has lasted much longer than any other kind of society to date.

The other concept to which the word “tribalism” frequently refers  is the possession of a strong cultural or ethnic identity that separates oneself as a member of one group from the members of another. This phenomenon is related to the concept of tribal society  in that it is a precondition for members of a tribe to possess a strong feeling of identity for a true tribal society to form.

The distinction between these two definitions for tribalism is an important one because,  while tribal society no longer strictly exists in the western world, tribalism, by this second definition, is arguably undiminished.

People have postulated that the human brain is hard-wired towards tribalism due to its evolutionary advantages.
(Sourced by Wikipedia)


  1. mwape eugine

    This is perfect,i love it!

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